There are an abundance of estate planning attorneys. How can you narrow down your choices and select the right attorney for your needs? There are several factors to consider. Here’s what to look for in an estate planning attorney.
1 – Areas of Practice
Some attorneys cover broad areas of practice (i.e. estate planning, personal injury, business law, criminal law, etc.) whereas others specialize in just a few related fields. There’s a saying that you can know a little about a lot or a lot about a little. Attorneys specializing in fewer fields have a greater depth of knowledge in those fields. When selecting an attorney, consider whether someone who practices in multiple areas of law or someone who focuses on one or two can better serve your needs.
2 – Experience
Experience is just as valuable as education. Before hiring an attorney, inquire about the years and types of experience that contribute to that attorney’s knowledge base. Given that every estate plan is unique, an attorney with more experience has a greater understanding of how to handle a variety of circumstances,… especially the unusual ones.
3 – Approach
Another thing to look for in an estate planning attorney is their service approach. Some attorneys work with a client just one time to create an estate plan. Others create an ongoing relationship to perform yearly reviews and update their clients’ plans based on changes to federal laws, state laws, and court cases that may set legal precedent in the interpretation of those laws. Working with an attorney in an ongoing relationship has an added benefit,… they will already have an understanding of your estate planning needs.
More on What to Look for in an Estate Planning Attorney
To know what to look for in an estate planning attorney, you must also think about other aspects of your personal life and needs. For example, if you have a family business, you might want an attorney with knowledge of business succession planning. If you are tech savvy, selecting an attorney who uses tech tools to communicate and share information can be appealing. Even personality can be important. Working with an attorney that you find pleasant can make the process much easier and stress-free. Ultimately, your estate planning attorney should be someone who has expertise in the field, has adequate experience, can address your current and future needs, and is easy to work with.