What To Consider When Hiring An Estate Planning Attorney

hiring an estate planning attorneyAre you thinking about planning your estate? If so, you’re making a wise decision. A will is one of the best ways to protect your family after you pass. Estate planning is the only way to ensure that your assets pass down to the proper beneficiaries.

If you are looking to plan your estate, it’s recommended that you hire an estate attorney. Estate attorneys are well-versed in the estate planning process and can help to ensure that everything is as you desire it to be.

Interested in hiring an estate planning attorney? Make these considerations when searching for one.

Years Practicing

One of the first things to consider when choosing an estate lawyer is the number of years he or she has practiced estate law. You want to make sure that your lawyer has a good deal of experience under his or her belt, as experience is often indicative of competency.

It’s recommended that you choose an attorney with at least five years of real-world estate law experience. A lawyer who has been practicing for at least this length of time has encountered everything that a lawyer should encounter.

Generally, the more experience a lawyer has, the better. If you’re trying to make a choice between two qualified attorneys, a good tie-breaker would be total years practicing.

Reputation

When looking for a family estate lawyer, get a feel for his or her reputation. If a lawyer has a positive reputation, he or she is probably a good lawyer with a good track record.

How do you get a feel for a specific lawyer’s reputation? One of the best courses of action is to take a look at online review sites. These sites will lead you to the types of lawyers you’re looking to hire and will provide you with various reviews from past clients of those lawyers.

Specializations

When hiring an estate planning attorney, it’s important that you consider specializations. Some attorneys practice estate law along with a variety of other types of law. Other attorneys focus on estate law, giving it their full attention.

At the same time, estate lawyers have different experiences in different services. For instance, while some estate lawyers are well-versed in managing and funding trusts, others are not.

Our advice is to pick an attorney dedicated to estate law and to choose an estate lawyer whose abilities accommodate your needs.

Court Experience

While many estate lawyers will represent their clients in a court of law, many won’t. If you’re hiring an estate planning attorney to act as your defense in court, you’re going to want to focus in on the ones with court experience.

Practicing estate law in an office is different than practicing estate law in front of a judge. Make sure the attorney you choose has the ability and wherewithal to do a good job.

Updating Programs

Another thing to consider when hiring an estate planning attorney is whether he or she offers any updating programs. Many estate lawyers will offer cost-reducing updating programs so that you can inspect and alter your will every few years.

If you need to update your will on a consistent basis, an updating program could be of great use to you.

Licensure

Never, under any circumstances, hire an estate lawyer who is not licensed. You can verify a Colorado lawyer’s license by utilizing the database at LicensedLawyer.org.

If your prospective lawyer is not in the database, you should start looking for other lawyers.

Personality

An estate lawyer can have all the qualifications in the world, but if you’re not comfortable with his or her personality, look elsewhere. In other words, it’s of huge importance that your estate lawyer has a personality with which you can gel.

After all, you’ll discuss private details of your life, including money, your kids, and your end-of-life wishes. You don’t want to discuss these delicate matters with someone who makes you uncomfortable. In the end, trust is key.

Work Style

No two lawyers are the same. Each works in his or her own specific way. For instance, some lawyers handle all their clients’ business while others are comfortable leaving some tasks to assistants and paralegals.

All different types of working styles have and can work. Your responsibility is hiring an estate planning attorney who works in a way that you like. When calling around to potential lawyers, make sure to ask questions about their working styles.

Ask if they utilize assistants. Ask how long it usually takes for them to file estate paperwork. Ask about how much they plan on communicating with you.

Cost

There is no way to know how much a specific attorney’s services cost without asking. Fees vary from attorney to attorney, spanning from $100 an hour to $1,000 an hour. Generally, the hourly fee a specific lawyer will charge is dependent on his or her experience and reputation.

You want to know your prospective attorney’s fees before signing any contracts. Call up your prospective attorney and ask how much it would cost for him or her to help you plan your estate.

If you don’t do this, you could face an astoundingly high bill in the future. That’s not something that you want to happen.

Interested in Hiring an Estate Planning Attorney in Denver?

Are you interested in hiring an estate planning attorney in the Denver, Colorado area? If so, the Meurer Law Offices has you covered.

We have helped countless clients with estate planning issues, including wills, trusts, estate tax, and more. Working both in-office and in-court, we can, if need be, serve as your representative and counsel.

Contact us today to get started on protecting your lifetime of hard work.

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