What are the top 5 things to look for in an estate planning attorney?

Jan. 4, 2017

Estate planning is a complex situation. It involves everything from drafting wills to creating a power of attorney, and it is best left to estate planning attorneys to handle this kind of legality. When people begin the search for a great probate attorney for guardianships, Power of Attorney or handle a loved one’s estate, they often have no idea what to look for. The questions they have are more plentiful than the answers, and that’s why an experienced attorney is necessary. Anyone looking for an attorney needs to know what to look for before signing any contracts.

An Attorney in Good Standing.

The most important thing to look for in a probate lawyer is one with good standing. To find out if an attorney is in good standing, prospective clients are urged to contact the state bar association. This can be done by visiting the state bar association website or calling and asking for the information at hand.

An Attorney Who Specializes in Estate Planning.

Not all attorneys specialize in this area of law, though they say they are familiar with the process. It’s not uncommon for an attorney to offer the service, then refer you to another attorney. It’s always the best idea for clients to educate themselves and be informed before choosing an attorney. Clients should ask questions about the fees involved, including Probate Court costs and filing fees. An attorney is usually the best option for everyone involved in a probate situation.

An Attorney with a Good Reputation.

Clients should always take the time to check into an attorney’s reputation. Check local Yelp reviews, read testimonials on the attorney’s website, and ask around to friends and family to find if they have used a local attorney and their experience. Estate planning attorneys are often highly recommended by people who’ve used them in the past, and that’s something all prospective clients should look into. An attorney with a good reputation all over the local area is one worth hiring.

An Attorney that Clients Enjoy Working With.

Just because an attorney is good at his job doesn’t mean he’s someone everyone wants to work with. Clients want to work with someone they like and respect. Working with an attorney is a relationship that could exist for weeks or sometimes years. This is why it is recommended clients meet with potential new attorneys before hiring them. A good working relationship is crucial to accomplish what needs to be done efficiently.

An Attorney with Experience.

A brand new attorney learns by doing the work. However, not everyone wants a brand new attorney who has not been working with estate planning documents for many years. Experience often leads to better ideas, more comprehensive work time and even fewer billable hours. Find an attorney who has been in the business for a long time, and one who has ample experience planning estates and all that entails.

There is nothing wrong with choosing an attorney based on the information and concerns clients find most important. Some clients don’t care if their attorney is brand new or whether they have limited experience because the fees charged may be less. The client should make a checklist of what they seek in an attorney and then discuss each point with the potential attorney. Questions are always a good part of any relationship.