Did you know that there are over 206,000 estate planning law firms in the US?
While it’s good to have options, having these many can be confusing. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed, mainly because estate planning is sensitive.
But, choosing a reliable attorney can be easy with the proper guidance. Luckily, this article has you covered.
Read on for tips on how to pick estate planning attorneys you can trust.
Start By Asking For Recommendations
Asking your friends and family for recommendations is a great place to start. This is especially true if they have also sought estate planning assistance.
They’ll know your preferences and if their attorneys meet your requirements. Your loved ones can save you a lot of time.
But, be careful, particularly when taking recommendations from people who stand to gain from your estate. As sad as it is to hear, the promise of money can corrupt their recommendations. So, supplement their recommendations by also checking online client reviews.
Or, you can ask the lawyers you use for other matters to recommend an estate planning attorney. They’re bound to know a reliable professional you can hire.
Consider An Attorney’s Certifications
The best lawyers don’t stop at getting their law degrees. Most go a step further and seek certification.
Check whether your state provides professional certification for estate planning attorneys. If they do, find certified attorneys.
Certification is given to lawyers who meet specific qualifications. First, they need at least five years of estate planning experience. They also have to take other estate planning-related courses and provide several references.
Check Your Area’s Bar Records
You’ll need to assess any potential attorney’s history to ensure that they’re reliable. The easiest way to go about it is by checking your state’s bar records. They are open to the public, so finding them shouldn’t be difficult.
You’ll find information on your potential lawyer’s disciplinary history in these records. Avoid any lawyer with past character complaints or disciplinary actions.
These lawyers are not the most trustworthy bunch. And seeing as estate planning involves your assets, integrity is non-negotiable.
Interview Potential Attorneys
Never hire an attorney without scheduling a face-to-face meeting first. A meeting will give you more insight into the attorney you want to hire.
Ask questions specific to your estate. The right attorney will provide an estate planning strategy in a language you can understand. To prepare for your meeting, read the estate planning essentials here.
A face-to-face meeting will also allow you to assess an attorney’s demeanor. Remember, you’ll be revealing personal details to your attorney. They need to exude a trustworthy demeanor for a successful relationship.
Different attorneys charge varying rates. Find the most affordable for you by comparing attorney fees.
But don’t let cost be your sole guiding factor. Only compare the charges of attorneys who meet all the other requirements. Also, ensure there are no hidden fees by asking for a detailed breakdown of their charges.
Ready To Pick Estate Planning Attorneys?
It’ll be easy to pick estate planning attorneys if you follow these tips. This guide will help you reduce your options to a manageable number. Then, it’ll help you choose the absolute best from the remaining choices.
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