Initiating and developing an estate plan isn’t an easy process. In fact, the amount of time and thought that goes into the process is so daunting for many that they either a) put it off or b) avoid it altogether. Both are incredibly unwise choices, considering the horror stories that have happened to families across the country who’s loved ones passed away without proper estate planning beforehand. The havoc such neglect can cause for families is significant, causing financial strain and worry for the children and grandchildren of the deceased parent.
With this knowledge, is it really worth the effort to take care of your estate planning now? The answer is an unequivocal and resounding, “Yes!” If you haven’t met with an estate planning attorney to discuss the best way to make sure your family is taken care of in the event of your disability or death, now is the time to do it.
So how do you go about finding the right estate planning attorney? Below are some guidelines to help you in your search:
Get a referral
If you have a CPA, banker or financial advisor, these are all good sources to ask for a referral in finding the right estate planning attorney. You can also ask friends and co-workers who have previously worked with an estate planning attorney. If you get the name of the same attorney several times, this is a sign that he or she has a good reputation.
Locate a reputable online legal directory
An online legal directory provides a list of attorneys focusing on a particular field within a specified location. Through these directories, you can also easily access an attorney’s website or online profile, helping you to have a better picture of his or her credentials in the area of estate planning.
Carefully consider his or her credentials
Every attorney who practices must do so with a law degree and a license to practice. However, there are Estate Planning certifications and specialty degrees that can denote an attorney who has studied the area of estate planning and wills to a more advanced level. An attorney’s experience in a particular area (such as estate planning including wills and trusts, elder law or estate administration) will also make a big difference in the quality of services you will likely receive. Therefore, finding an avocat spécialiste succession who has significant experience in the field is a better option than one who is new to this particular legal area.