Estate planning is a crucial process that ensures your assets are managed and distributed according to your wishes after you die. To navigate this complex legal journey effectively, hiring an experienced estate planning attorney is essential. Here are three key questions to ask when selecting the right attorney for your specific needs:

  1. What is your experience with estate planning?

Understanding an attorney’s experience in estate planning is fundamental to assessing their competence in handling your affairs. If you’re looking for experience in a specific area (i.e. special needs trusts), then be sure to ask directly about that. Just as you wouldn’t trust a dermatologist to perform your open-heart surgery, you want to ensure you’re choosing to work with an attorney who has the kind of background you’re looking for. Ask about their experience with drafting wills, establishing trusts, and navigating tax implications related to estate planning. An attorney with a robust background in estate planning law will be better equipped to advise you on complex matters and ensure your wishes are legally protected.

Example Question: Can you describe some of the estate planning cases you’ve handled in the past?

  1. How do you communicate with your clients?

Clear communication is crucial throughout the estate planning process. You need an attorney who listens attentively and empathically to your concerns, explains complex legal concepts in a way you can understand, and keeps you informed about the progress of your case. If you have a preferred method of communication, ask about that. Does this attorney respond to emails in a timely manner? Do they prefer scheduled phone calls? Are they patient if a client has lots of questions? Understanding how the attorney communicates and whether they are accessible when you have questions or updates is vital for a smooth and transparent legal experience.

Example Question: How do you typically communicate with your clients, and what can I expect in terms of updates and progress reports?

  1. What are your fees and how are they structured?

Estate planning fees can vary widely depending on the complexity of your estate and the services provided. It’s essential to have a clear understanding of how the firm charges for their services upfront. Some attorneys may charge a flat fee for certain services. That means you will pay one fee that includes all appointments, follow-up phone calls, etc. Others may bill by the hour or offer a combination of fee structures. Knowing the cost implications upfront allows you to budget accordingly and avoid financial surprises down the road.

Example Question: Can you outline your fee structure and provide an estimate of the total cost for handling my estate planning needs?

Choosing the right estate planning attorney involves more than just hiring someone with legal expertise; it also requires finding a professional who understands your unique needs and communicates effectively. By asking these critical questions at the beginning of the process, you can ensure you hire an attorney who is not only qualified but is also committed to guiding you through the complexities of estate planning with clarity and reliability. Check out a firm’s website, read their online reviews, and chat with friends and family members about who they worked with for estate planning. Then schedule a consultation so you can find the attorney who best meets your requirements and makes you feel condiment in their ability to protect your legacy.

Contact Schromen Law to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys. We’ll be ready to answer your questions!

The material contained herein is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to create or constitute an attorney-client relationship between Schromen Law, LLC and the reader.  The views expressed in this article are not a statement of support or endorsement by Schromen Law, LLC.  The information contained herein is not offered as legal or medical advice and should not be construed as legal or medical advice.

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