Searching for an Estate Planning attorney can evoke anxiety and seem overwhelming. But, choosing the right lawyer to walk you through this process can be one of the best gifts you can give yourself and your family. So, to help you get through the initial dread of choosing an attorney, we have come up with 5 things to consider when hiring.
As we said in Part 1 of this blog, how the lawyer answers these questions should help you determine how you feel working with them, how they approach planning with clients and, ultimately, whether you feel you can trust them to guide you through the best choices for you and your family so that your greatest concerns are met through the process. The goal is to hire someone that you and your family can rely on and trust.
Here are the Top 3 Considerations…
No. 3: Ongoing Relationship Following the Initial Plan
Most Estate Planning attorneys help you set up your plan and then feel that they have served their purpose. They do not make efforts to have an ongoing relationship with their clients nor do they make themselves easily available to the client when follow up questions arise.
In order to stay in communication after the initial plan is completed, a lawyer must have systems in place. Ongoing communications such as occasional or regular newsletters or emails are important to keep clients apprised of changes in the law that might impact their Estate Plan. Ongoing communications also remind clients of the importance of coordinating their finances with their Estate Plan and keeping the plan up to date when circumstances change.
A lasting relationship with your Estate Planning attorney is important to make sure that your plan works when it is needed by your loved ones. It’s not just about the documents you put into place with your lawyer, your plan depends upon your family having a professional they can to turn to when something happens; someone who you know will be able to guide them through the steps of your plan. Who better to do this than someone you have developed a long-term professional relationship with and who you know is trustworthy and knowledgeable?
Make sure that your attorney communicates with you on an ongoing basis. They should keep you educated and continue to remind you of important details of your plan. And, most importantly, they should be available to you when you or your family needs them.
At Bromlow Law, PLLC, we strive to communicate regularly with our clients: we offer at least quarterly educational opportunity to our clients; we send e-newsletters and other email communications to keep you up-to-date on laws that could impact your plan; and we remind you that we are here for you when you need us.
No. 2: Help For More than Just Estate Planning
When you choose an Estate Planning attorney, you want someone who focuses on Estate Planning and related areas of law. There is simply not enough time in the day, week or year to keep up-to-date on the changing laws and available planning tools to be an excellent Estate Planning lawyer and a general practitioner. So, choose someone with a concentration on Estate Planning.
However, you also want someone who is connected and concerned with your best interest. So, having a lawyer who has the willingness and ability to connect you with other professionals can be a great relief. Look for someone who can help you find other professionals who can help you with tax, business, and personal issues that may arise throughout your lifetime.
If you choose the right Estate Planning lawyer, they can be someone to discuss and help you understand a variety of legal issues that come up. More importantly, they may be able to help you vet the appropriate legal professional to assist you with your matter. In other words, your Estate Planning attorney can become an important part of your personal board of directors.
At Bromlow Law, PLLC, we pride ourselves as being a professional connector and compassionate experts. We can help you review contracts, understand general legal concepts and guide you to other professionals.
No. 1: The Lawyer’s Own Plan
Have you ever heard that the contractor is the one with the most dilapidated house? Too often, attorneys suffer from the same issue. It is critical to make sure that yours has a plan in place in the event they become incapacitated or die.
Make sure you ask the lawyer whether they have their own detailed plan in place. Ask them what their succession plan is for their practice. Who will take over their cases? Is it someone with a similar personality? If your lawyer is going to help you put a detailed and personalized plan in place, they should have one of their own!
This article is a service of Bromlow Law, PLLC and Laura L. Bromlow, your family’s lawyer for life. We provide legal advice and guide you through making educated and empowered decisions about life events for you and your loved ones. We offer a Love & Legacy Planning Meeting, where you gain clarity on your finances and we guide you through making the best decisions for you and your loved ones. At Bromlow Law, PLLC, we are dedicated to the practice of Elder Law and Estate Planning. Our practice is comprised solely of working with clients in these and closely related legal fields. Laura L. Bromlow is a Certified Elder Law Attorney with the National Elder Law Foundation. We strive to enhance communication among family members and loved ones and to keep them all out of conflict so they can stay out of court. We want to help you keep your close circle safe! You can reach us at (281) 665-3807 or [email protected] Call our office today to schedule a Love & Legacy Planning Meeting and mention this article to find out how to get this $700 session at no charge.