Taking the time to create an estate plan is an excellent way to ensure you, and your heirs, are taken care of in the future. However, how can you be sure you are choosing an attorney who has your best interests in mind? There are three things we recommend looking for when searching for an estate planning attorney. You might look for other traits as well, but these traits are at the top of our list.
3 Traits to Look for When Choosing an Estate Planning Attorney
Communication is always key when you are working with someone. If you contact an attorney’s office and it takes them a week to get back to you, the lines of communication may not be as open as you want them to be.
We recommend working with an estate planning attorney who understands that communication is ongoing from both parties. You will want to work with an attorney who listens to what you are saying. That attorney should also ask questions if they are unsure of what you are saying.
Of course, since you are most likely new to the estate planning process, your attorney should be willing to walk you through the process. They should share all of your options and tell you what will happen as a result of each option.
Working with an attorney who cannot communicate can leave you with a poor estate plan that may even be missing details. You may even be unaware of when changes should be made to your estate plan in the future.
Creating an estate plan is quite personal. Your attorney is going to hear about numerous things that include your life, goals, concerns, and family. The result of estate planning is basically having written instructions of how you want your property and money handled in the future. You need to trust that your attorney will follow your wishes when it is time to put your estate plan into action.
Some people have a difficult time trusting others and some people are a little too trusting. You should be able to tell whether or not you can trust the estate planning attorney you chose. If you have any doubts, you may need to meet with a few other attorneys.
3. Level of Comfort
As much as you should trust your attorney, you should also feel comfortable talking to them about anything. Part of the estate planning process is being upfront about your struggles, your successes, and all of your extended family members. Your attorney will need to know if a distant cousin is a gold-digger. This will prepare them for the future when that distant cousin tries to contest your estate plan.
You should also be comfortable enough to ask any questions you have, without feeling like you should know the answers already. Most estate planning attorneys understand that this process is foreign to many people. Therefore, they use language that is easy to understand and don’t mind re-explaining things as needed.
If you have been looking for an attorney to handle your estate planning or have any questions about an estate plan, please contact our office today.