An estate planning attorney can help individuals draft a variety of legal documents that ensure their property is distributed according to their wishes upon death. They can also work with clients to minimize taxes and avoid probate court costs. In addition, they can assist with creating trusts and other legal instruments that help protect assets from creditors. A good estate planning attorney can also provide advice on avoiding incapacity and making arrangements for chronic health or disability issues that may arise during one’s lifetime.
Individuals who are considering hiring an estate planning attorney should take the time to research potential professionals in their area. By asking several important questions, they can ensure that the chosen professional is qualified to handle their specific situation. For instance, they should ask prospective attorneys about their experience in estate taxes and trusts, as well as their familiarity with state regulations and laws related to these matters.
It is also a good idea to find out how long the attorney has been practicing and whether or not they are members of any professional organizations in the field of estate planning law. It is also a good idea to determine whether the attorney has worked with any clients with similar situations to their own in the past. Doing so can give them insight into how to best approach the issue and create a plan that will meet the client’s unique needs.
A good estate planning attorney will be able to explain their process for creating a comprehensive estate plan. This will include a review of all of an individual’s current assets and debts and identifying any issues that may arise due to complex family dynamics or the presence of taxable assets. The attorney will then recommend steps to address those issues and ensure that the final estate plan is in line with the client’s overall goals.
An individual should make sure that the selected attorney has experience with community property issues, as these can present unique challenges in some states. In addition, the attorney should be able to help clients with asset protection strategies and establishing special needs trusts.
Individuals should also find out whether or not the attorney provides regular reviews of estate plans. These reviews are a good idea for people who frequently purchase new property or who anticipate major life changes, such as retirement. The reviews will ensure that the existing estate plan is in line with the person’s current wishes and that all necessary documents are up to date.
Lastly, an individual should find out how the attorney will communicate with them throughout the course of their relationship. It is important that the attorney be easily accessible and willing to respond quickly to any questions or concerns. They should also be able to explain their fees and charges for various services, as well as any potential additional costs that may arise. A reputable attorney will be transparent about all of their fees and charges and will make it clear what the individual can expect from their services.