You’re ready to start your estate planning. Great. That’s a smart decision that will help protect you, your legacy and your family. Now you need to find an estate planning law firm. You don’t want to go with just any law firm, however. You need one with the right skills and expertise.
Estate planning is not the sort of thing you want to trust with anyone. Make sure you’ll be in good hands by asking these questions.
1. Are you licensed and experienced in my state?
Estate planning laws can vary from state to state. For this reason, it’s important to have an estate planning lawyer who is not only licensed in your state, but who also understands the various local issues that might arise.
2. What are your specialties?
Law is a complex field, and lawyers need to specialize. You want to make sure that your lawyer’s specialties align with your needs. Look for someone who focuses on estate planning. Also look for someone with strong experience in your state.
3. How long have you been working in this field?
Everyone has to start somewhere, but you don’t want someone with experience to handle your case. Ask about the lawyer’s professional history. In addition to getting a feel for the lawyer’s general experience, you can ask about the lawyer’s education, professional affiliations and any publications.
4. What is the process?
Before you agree to anything, you want to know what, exactly, you’re agreeing to. Ask for an explanation of the process. This should include the estate planning documents that will be created, what will be required of you and the expected timeline. If you’re interested in saving trees, ask how much of the process is paperless.
5. How will my special situation impact the process?
Maybe your spouse is from another country, or perhaps you have a blended family. When you talk to an estate planning lawyer, you’ll need to share these details. Look for someone with understanding and expertise in handling cases like yours.
6. What are the costs?
Cheaper doesn’t always mean better. At the same time, you don’t want to be caught off guard by higher than expected fees. Get the estate planning cost information up front, including how much you’ll be charged and what you’ll be charged for.
7. What do other clients say?
The law firm may be able to show you testimonials from other clients. This is a good start, but keep in mind that these testimonials may be cherry picked. Also check online for other reviews. A single bad review doesn’t necessarily mean the law firm should be avoided, but a trail of unhappy clients should raise red flags.
8. What do you think?
This last question is one you have to ask yourself. After talking to the estate planning lawyer, do you feel comfortable and confident? Go with someone you trust.
Contact us to see if Skinner Law is a good estate planning fit for you.