Whether you are dealing with estate taxes, trying to set up trusts, or settling tax disputes, a tax attorney can help. Depending on the type of case and your needs, you may need to talk with multiple lawyers to find the right one for you. Here are a few questions to consider before you hire someone:
What kind of cases does this lawyer handle?
Most law firms will have some clients that are more suited for a certain type of case. For example, if you are an entrepreneur with international business dealings, your case may require an attorney who has experience with foreign tax laws. If you are dealing with estate taxes, your case may require a different kind of attorney, such as one who has experience in probate.
What is the hourly rate for this attorney?
The hourly rate for a tax attorney will vary depending on their level of expertise and where they are working. For example, highly experienced attorneys at large law firms can charge up to $1,000 per hour. Some attorneys will offer a flat fee for simple or routine cases. However, the flat fee may not cover the time spent on your case if it is more complicated than expected.
Do you have any experience with my specific situation?
A good way to gauge how well a tax attorney will be able to handle your case is by asking them what they have previously done in similar situations. They should be able to provide examples and advice on what steps to take moving forward. They should also be able to provide you with a rough estimate of how much your case will cost.
Is the fee for this case deductible?
Generally, fees for estate planning are tax deductible. This includes legal fees for drafting documents such as wills and trusts, as well as preparing and filing taxes. In addition, fees associated with minimizing taxes (e.g., property transfer methods) and investment advice for trusts owned by the estate can be deducted.
However, under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, miscellaneous deductions were suspended through 2026. As a result, it is likely that most estate planning fees will no longer be tax deductible.
Can I work with this attorney and my accountant?
Many people choose to work with both an estate planning lawyer and an accountant. This allows the professionals to collaborate on maximizing tax breaks and minimizing future liabilities for gift, estate, and generation-skipping transfer taxes.
Although talking about estate planning can be difficult, it’s important for families to have a plan in place. Without one, it can cause a lot of confusion and stress for loved ones after a person’s death. To help make the process easier for everyone involved, here are some tips on broaching the topic with family members and getting started. Ultimately, proper estate planning can help protect your loved ones and provide them with the financial security they deserve.