When searching for an estate planning attorney, it is important to find one who can accommodate your needs. You may want to ask your friends and family for referrals. The best recommendation is through word of mouth. You can also ask your financial advisors if they can recommend a trustworthy estate planning attorney. If you have a Fidelity account, you can use their online estate planner to find an attorney. You can also research attorneys that are vetted by Fidelity.
A good estate planning attorney should know how long it will take to prepare documents. Some attorneys charge an hourly rate, based on the amount of time it takes to prepare a document. In a flat fee structure, you pay an attorney a one-time fee for all of their services. However, an hourly fee is billed in increments of six minutes or one tenth of an hour. The advantage of a flat fee structure is that you won’t have to worry about paying for phone calls.
An estate planning attorney will organize and locate information so that your wishes are followed. They can also help you find errors that may not have been caught by your family members. Some of these mistakes may be harmless but cause problems for your family. For example, beneficiary designations are often outdated, and are invalid. A wrong beneficiary designation can result in devastating tax consequences. A qualified estate planning attorney will ensure that your estate plan is accurate and updated. A professional will keep your estate planning up to date.
An estate planning attorney will bill their clients according to the services that they perform. For example, a simple will may cost a few hundred dollars, while setting up a trust could cost several thousand dollars. A lawyer will bill you on an hourly basis, but a flat fee gives you the peace of mind that you will know how much it will cost in advance. Some attorneys charge a flat fee, while others bill by the hour.
When you have children from previous marriages, you may want to provide for them by transferring your assets out of your estate. If you have disabled family members, your will should avoid risking losing government benefits. In addition, it is important to transfer assets outside of probate. Depending on your situation, a simple will may not be enough. Other types of trusts may be necessary. A qualified estate planning attorney will advise you on the proper legal documents.
If you have a blended family, you may need to make provisions for children from previous marriages. Your estate planning attorney can also provide for disabled family members. While you may not have children from previous marriages, you may want to provide for them with the same money. Moreover, if you want to protect your loved ones, you should consider a will for them. A will is a document that outlines the details of your life.