Legal matters can be complicated and exhausting for anyone who is not well-versed with the intricate principles and jargon of law. This is why it’s best to prevent potential legal issues than deal with them later on. That’s especially true when it comes to investing in legal services. Whether you hire an attorney or not, knowing what questions to ask can help you determine whether the professional you’re considering is right for your needs, and if not, which professional you should seek out.
Below are some questions to ask your wills and estate planning, attorney:
- What’s Their Educational Background and Legal Experience?
Most people want to know if their attorney has the proper credentials for the job. If they are planning to draft a will, they may be more interested in knowing whether their attorney is professionally qualified to do the job well.
Experience is just as important as education. A practicing estate planning attorney should have at least three years of experience drafting wills, trusts, and estate planning documents.
However, it’s also important to ask what kinds of cases the attorney has worked on in that time, as this may give you a glimpse into whether or not they are up to date on current laws.
- What’s Their Experience With the Type of Case in Discussion?
Many practicing attorneys maintain general practices, which means they can take on a variety of cases. However, some wills and estate planning attorneys specialize in certain areas of the law.
If you have a complex estate or seek help with an estate already in probate, it’s essential to find an attorney who has experience with those types of cases.
- How Long is the Typical Process?
An experienced estate planning lawyer should give you a realistic idea of how long the process will take. It’s essential to ask about the time frame for each step, including when you should expect to have your initial consultation, expect to receive draft documents, and how long it will take for the attorney to file all necessary paperwork with the court.
- How Often Do They Update Their Estate Plans?
No one knows what the future holds, so it’s essential to have an estate plan that can be updated as needed. An experienced attorney should tell you how often they recommend revisiting your plan and how much this typically costs.
- Should You Create a Trust or Will?
One of the first questions you’ll likely ask your estate planning attorney is which document is best for you: a formal legal will or a trust. An experienced attorney should walk you through the pros and cons of both and help you decide which legal option will work best for your unique situation.
- How Can You Avoid Probate?
Like most Americans, you wouldn’t want your assets tied up in probate court if you’re like most Americans. There are several ways to avoid this process through “probate-avoidance planning.”
For example, if you set up trusts for your children, you can distribute them according to your instructions without tax implications. A well-structured estate plan can help you avoid headaches for your loved ones after your passing, but what happens if you need to make last-minute changes? Proficient wills and estate planning attorneys will guide you in this respect and help you make an informed decision by making you aware of all the various provisions of the laws of the state.
Your estate planning attorney should discuss all of your options with you and help you create a legal estate plan that will work best for your specific situation. By asking the above-mentioned questions, you can understand well how to hire an attorney who can do justice to your requirements.