An Estate Planning Attorney is a lawyer who is trained to help you set up a plan for your assets and how you want them handled in the event of your death. This helps ensure that your loved ones won’t have to make difficult decisions for you and your family. Many people think that estate planning is only for the rich, but anyone who has a family should consider working with an Estate Planning Attorney to create a proper plan.
In general, when you are looking for an Estate Planning Attorney, the best way to find one is through referrals from friends and colleagues. You can also check your local and state bar association for listings. It’s important that the person you hire specializes in estate law, rather than another type of law, because this is a very personal process and it will involve discussing your personal finances and plans for after your death.
The average hourly rate for an Estate Planning Attorney is $210. However, some attorneys offer a flat-rate package fee, which can save you money in the long run. When you are interviewing potential attorneys, make sure they disclose their fees upfront. This will prevent any surprises when you get the bill.
Once you have narrowed down your choices, check with each attorney to see if they will provide a free 30- or 60-minute consultation. This will give you a chance to get a feel for the attorney and to decide if you are comfortable working with them. If you are not happy with the attorney, keep looking for another. Attorneys who are difficult to work with or treat their clients poorly will usually receive bad reviews and a reputation for being expensive.
A good Estate Planning Attorney will be able to help you create a comprehensive and robust plan that will minimize taxes, protect your family’s privacy and make it easier for your loved ones to settle your estate. They will also be able to assist you with other legal matters, such as naming guardians for children or pets and making health care decisions in case you are unable to speak for yourself.
The most common reason to work with an estate planning attorney is to protect your family’s financial future after your death. This includes ensuring that your spouse, children and grandchildren are provided for with adequate life insurance and that you are able to pass on any valuables and properties you own to them without being taxed. An attorney can also help you create a special needs trust for any immediate family members who require assistance with living and managing their finances, as well as helping you qualify for Medicaid in order to pay for long-term care services. Finally, an estate planning attorney can assist with probate proceedings if necessary. They can help you avoid unnecessary costs, fight improper claims and defend your estate against predators. This can be an overwhelming process, but a good attorney will simplify it for you and help you understand your options.