As you get older, your finances become more complex. You may own one or more homes, have your own business, and have various types of investments and other accounts. It's important to plan ahead for what will happen to your assets and your estate at the time of your death. Doing so will save your family from significant stress and confusion. Luckily, hiring an estate lawyer makes this easy. Here are three tips for hiring an estate attorney.
Do Your Research Ahead of Time
Before meeting with estate lawyers, spend a few hours online researching the best estate planning options in your area. In many cases, you can read reviews from other estate planning clients which should help you narrow things down. You can also read legal articles written by estate lawyers to get a better feel for their level of expertise.
Finally, ask for referrals from trusted friends and family members who have already gone through the estate planning process. This is especially helpful if you know people with estates that are similar in size and complexity to your own.
Schedule a Few Consultations
Most estate attorneys offer free consultations so be sure to take advantage of this. You will want to bring your important financial documents as well as a list of questions to your consultation. You should ask how they work with clients during the estate planning process, how often you will meet with them, and what they will need from you to get started.
It's also a good idea to ask how long they have been practicing and if they have experience working with similar estates. After having a few consultations, choose the estate lawyer you feel the most confident about.
Choose Someone You Have a Rapport With
While estate planning involves a ton of paperwork and legal details, it's also important to choose an estate attorney you get along well with. This is someone you're going to be spending a lot of time with and discussing personal financial details with on a minute level.
In addition, they will need to interact with your family after you pass away. While their legal expertise in estate planning is the most important factor, you should also pick someone personable and professional.
Hiring the right estate planning attorney will give you great peace of mind. You will know that someday when you reach the end of your life, your estate will be handled in a way that is fair and easy for everyone involved.