The thought of estate planning can be uncomfortable since people often associate it with writing a will and other documents for when they are no more here. However, estate planning is so much more as it involves finding creative strategies that let you enjoy your wealth better while you are alive, and also provide for your loved ones when you are gone.
While any lawyer can tell you why a will is important, for estate planning, you need an experienced estate planning attorney. Estate planning matters are often sensitive, which means you need to choose an attorney that you feel comfortable with.
Before hiring an estate planning attorney, you need to be certain that you are making the right choice. Here are 6 questions you need to ask an estate planning attorney before hiring:
- What is your estate planning experience? When looking for an estate planning attorney, it is always a great idea to look for experienced attorneys. You should consider an attorney who has a minimum of three years of experience and specialization in trusts and estates. Anything less should not be considered. You should also ask if they have experience helping clients with similar financial circumstances. It would be an added benefit if they specialize in areas relating to your specific needs like special needs planning etc.
- Do you recommend probate? If the estate planning attorney intends to put your estate through probate, you should consider it a red flag. This is because the disadvantages of probate are numerous. It can include costly court fees by taking several months or years in some cases to go through the courts. If the attorney suggests probate, ask what their reasons are and seek a second or third opinion before retaining them. Thoughcertain circumstances can make probate unavoidable,a good attorney should try to shield you from this additional time and cost.
- How much do you charge for an estate plan? Depending on your estate size, you may be charged hourly. If you are given an hourly rate, you should ask what is and what is not billable. You should make every inquiry about what your estate plan is costing you so that you are not surprised down the road.
- How do you handle updates on my estate plan? No matter how good your estate plans are, they may require certain altercations if your life changes or new laws are passed. You should choose an attorney who is able to update your plans as often as needed and with whom you are comfortable discussing personal matters. Most estate planning attorneys will review your plan once or twice a year, for a fee. But whether you choose frequent reviews or you review as needed, communicate with your estate planning attorney.
- How long will it take to complete my estate planning project? Finalizing an agreed timeline right at the start can help prevent delays. It will help avoid unnecessary waste of time and address all your concerns on time.
- Will you go over all plan documents with me before they go into effect? No matter how skilled and experienced your estate planning attorney is, it is important to review the documentation. This is to make sure everything is set up as you intended, to avoid mistakes or errors due to miscommunication.
At Davies Law Firm, we have the knowledge, experience, skills, and ethics to protect you, your family, and your loved ones. We are estate planning attorneys New York residents trust for their estate planning needs. Reach out to us on our website or call us on 315-472-6511 to schedule a consultation today.