How to Choose an Estate Planning Attorney

Finding a good estate planning attorney can be difficult. If you have serious legal problems, it’s important to choose someone who has the skills and knowledge needed to help you. Estate planning attorneys advise clients on getting their affairs in order to prepare for the possibility of death or mental disabilities. They help people write their wills and create trusts. Before making a decision, decide what you expect from your attorney and how much money you can spend.
Do Online Research

Most law firms have business websites offering information about their services and fees. With a few mouse clicks, you can find a well-established attorney in your area. For example, if you live in Orlando, use your favorite search engine to fond an estate planning attorney in your area. Use relevant search terms such as “trust attorney Orlando,” “probate and real estate attorney Orlando,” or “law firm Orlando.” Make a list of attorneys in your city, check their office locations, and contact them by phone.

Hire a Specialist

Don’t go for a general practitioner. Make sure you hire a specialist. In generate, estate planning attorneys specialize in several areas, including will contests and administration, trust contests, probate litigation, removal of trustees, and trust litigation. Most law firms offer free or low-cost initial consultations. Take advantage of this opportunity and try to find out more about the attorneys you’re interested in.

Ask for Referrals

If you don’t find an estate planning attorney online, ask your financial advisor or your accountant for a referral. Many law firms turn to accountants for help with income tax issues. Your accountant could recommend an experienced attorney who can handle your problems. You may also contact your local bar association and ask for recommendations.

Meet the Attorney in Person

Contact the attorney and schedule a meeting. Ask relevant questions to determine if he’s right for you. What areas of law does he specialize in? How often does he work on conflicts that end up in getting litigated? How many years of experience does he have? Does he charge a flat fee or an hourly rate for his services? Does he carry malpractice insurance?

Choosing an estate planning attorney is a major decision. Don’t sign up unless you’re completely comfortable with the lawyer’s services and fees. Keep in mind that many attorneys practice estate planning as a means of supplementing their income. This is a highly specialized field, so you should hire an expert.

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