What to Consider When Looking for an Estate Planning Attorney
You need to feel comfortable with your estate planing attorney. Ideally, they need to get to know you well enough for you to tell them about the successes and failures in your life. You also need to be comfortable discussing your immediate family, as well as extended family members.
An estate planning attorney can’t create an effective plan if you are not comfortable enough with them to be upfront. You need to feel able to ask questions about parts of your estate plan that you are not knowledgeable about, or have not been explained in a way that you will understand and remember. You should feel you can make decisions in order to create an estate plan that is right for you.
Estate planning is very personal. It’s about you, your life, your goals, your family, and any concerns you may have. In its most basic form, an estate plan is a written set of instructions about your property and money. After creating your estate plan, you should not continue to worry about your money and property going where you want them to and whether they will be used to your benefit. You need to have trust in the attorney who will be creating your estate plan.
Think about skills and qualities people possess or display that instill a feeling of trust in you. Seek out an attorney who possesses those skills and the knowledge to create an estate plan you trust. If you do not have trust in the attorney you choose and in the estate plan that is created for you, you are missing out of one of the primary benefits of creating an estate plan – worrying less and enjoying tomorrow more.
In order to get an estate plan created that suits your needs and your plans, there must be communication between you and your estate planning attorney. Just like in every other aspect of life, good communication is two-way and active. You need to know that when you speak or write to the attorney, the attorney is listening and understands you. Your attorney should discuss things in a way that helps you understand the process, your options, and the results. In estate planning, it is just as much listening as it is talking – about your goals, concerns, and questions.
If two-way communication does not happen, it is unlikely that you will get a good estate plan. The attorney will not have listened to what is important to you and drafted an estate plan accordingly. It is unlikely that you will know the different parts of your plan and how each part benefits you. You may not know if it needs to be changed or updated when certain things in your life change.