How Can You Decide Who Should Help With Your Will?
When considering the possibilities for your estate planning, there are many routes you can take. Some of the people already in your phone can assist in making referrals. Often these referrals can lead to shortcuts in work, as these professionals can sometimes cooperate and share resources with your permission.
Talk With Your Financial Advisor
In many cases, your financial advisor will have already spoken with you about estate planning. A lot of financial planning specialists place estate planning at the center of their business relationship with you, as a necessary component of their services. The attorneys on our team work with many financial advisors, and can develop an estate plan that works seamlessly with the strategies you and your advisor are building for your investments.
If the financial advisor does not have a specific set of attorneys he or she customarily works with, then you may inquire as to what legal team worked on their own estate plans.
Either way, the work of estate planning dovetails well with the decisions you make in your financial plans, whether they are for investments in real estate, mortgage refinancing, retirement funds, or other types of asset allocation.
Talk With Your Probate Court
If you know clerks who work in your local probate court, they likely have friends and acquaintances who work in estate law. This type of referral makes more sense in a smaller market, where there may be fewer attorneys dealing with probate and trust cases.
Great estate attorneys tend to cultivate long-standing relationships with their local judges and court clerks, and these relationships can often prove to be very helpful.
See Your City or State’s Bar Associations
In every state, a formal bar association certifies and regulates all of the attorneys working in the area. Many of these groups offer referral services, or at least a comprehensive listing of attorneys in the area who specialize in estate planning.
Some counties and cities also maintain their own local bar associations, and these could prove to be a simpler way to browse a smaller, more local field of qualified professionals.
Talk With Other Lawyers
If you work with other attorneys on a regular basis, and have been happy with the services they have provided, then you may want to talk with them. Many times, attorneys in disparate fields will have personal friends at other firms, or will have had their own experiences in preparing their own estate paperwork.
Either way, attorneys can serve as a valuable resource for providing referrals. And since these attorneys do not operate in the same type of law, there is generally no competition between them, or potential conflicts of interest.
Once You Meet Your Referral
When you meet with your new potential counsel, an initial consultation is often free of charge. This meeting can give you a chance to see the personality and approach of the attorney, and to hear if he or she has worked with other clients who had similar needs to your own.
If you are doing nothing more than crafting a basic Will, or power of attorney documents, then you likely would not need an expensive attorney who specializes in complicated family situations and estate tax reductions. An attorney with across-the-board experience in probate dealings and general estate planning should suffice.
You want to make sure the attorney will not just help draft the plans, but will also help you fund the revocable living trust.. Much of this work involves re-titling your assets to be in the name of the trust, rather than just in your name.