You probably don’t give much thought to estate planning until you need it. Perhaps your parent just entered a nursing home, or perhaps you are in the process of buying a home or starting a family. In any case, estate planning is something that most people will need at some point in their lives. Estate planning refers to all of the measures you can take to plan for your future and protect your assets in case something goes wrong. An estate planning lawyer can help you create an estate plan that meets your needs. The good news is that hiring an estate planning attorney isn’t nearly as expensive as you might think — especially if you do not need the lawyer on a continual basis. If you want to get started on creating an estate plan, visit www.keystonelawfirm.com/. Otherwise, keep reading for more information about how to find the right estate planning lawyer for you.
Assess Your Needs
Estate planning is a vast and complex area of law, encompassing everything from wills and trusts to guardianship arrangements and advance directives. You may need some or all of these services, depending on your particular circumstances. For example, if you have young children, you may want to appoint a guardian in case something happens to you. If you are elderly or have a chronic illness, you may want to create an advance directive to ensure that your medical wishes are carried out.
Before meeting with an attorney, take some time to assess your needs. Make a list of the services you think you need and do some research on each one. This will help you determine what questions to ask when meeting with potential lawyers.
Find a Lawyer Who Specializes in Estate Planning
You would not go to a heart surgeon for a broken leg, so why would you go to a general practice attorney for estate planning? When it comes to something as important as your future and your family’s future, you want to make sure you are working with a lawyer who specializes in estate planning. This way, you can be confident that the attorney is up-to-date on the latest laws and has the experience to help you create a comprehensive plan.
Ask Family and Friends for Recommendations
Assuming that you know anyone who has needed an estate planning lawyer in the past, you might want to start your search by asking them who they would recommend. After all, you know these people, and they likely would have had a positive experience with the lawyer they chose. Also, keep in mind that the best estate planning lawyer is not always the one who advertises the most. Some lawyers choose to focus on a specific niche of the law, which means that their ads are less frequent but also more targeted so their services are more applicable to certain situations.
Not only is it easier to meet with a lawyer in person, but it is also easier to find lawyers in your local area. When you search locally, you can see the different types of lawyers in your community, which can make it easier to decide which lawyer to choose. You also have the advantage of being able to find out what people in your community think of these lawyers.
Check Licenses and Registration
Not all lawyers are licensed to practice law in your state. That means that there is a chance you could hire a lawyer who does not have the authority to represent you in court. When you select an estate planning lawyer, you will want to make sure that they are licensed to practice in your state and that they have the proper registration numbers to show for it.
Check How Much They Charge
Estate planning is not an exact science, so you will want to find an attorney who is willing to work with you to create a plan that meets your specific needs. However, you also don’t want to hire an attorney who is going to charge you an outrageous amount of money for their services. It is also a good idea to look for ways to reduce the cost of hiring an attorney even further. If you are over a certain age, for example, you might be able to get reduced rates or even free legal help through your state or county.
Narrow Down the List Further with a Personal Consultation
When you have narrowed down your search for estate planning lawyers to a short list, schedule a consultation with each one. During your consultation, you can ask any questions you have about the attorney’s experience and their rate of charge. You also can take this opportunity to see which lawyer is the best fit for you and your needs. When you are finished with your consultations, you should have a good idea of which estate planning lawyer would be best for you.