Throughout your life, various circumstances such as a change in your net worth, a move to another state, the passing of a beneficiary, the birth of children or grandchildren, or changes in state and federal estate and tax laws may trigger the need for an estate plan modification. However, at the time that you want to modify your estate plan, you may not have the ability or desire to use the same attorney who originally created it. Finding the right attorney to take over this important responsibility is crucial to the overall success of the plan.
Five Tips to Help You Find a Great Estate Planning Attorney
As you look for an attorney to handle an update to your estate plan, consider the following tips:
- Do not underestimate the importance of location. Using an attorney whose office is easily located increases the likelihood that you will follow through on estate planning updates. For example, if you live in Anaheim, you may not want to choose an attorney in San Francisco, even if he is highly recommended by a friend.
- Look for an attorney who focuses his practice in the area of estate planning. While there are many attorneys who dabble in this highly complex area of the law, you will be better served by finding someone who has been practicing in this field consistently.
- Ask for an estimate of costs up front, but don’t let money be your deciding factor. There are so many other important considerations to take into account when choosing your attorney. It is smart to ask about costs up front so that expectations can be set appropriately. However, choosing the least expensive attorney could leave you with a poor result.
- Read reviews about the attorney that you are considering. If the firm has a presence on sites like Yelp, Facebook, or Google+, you may find detailed information left by prior clients of the firm. Some firms may even have a client testimonials page directly on their website.
- Trust your instincts. If you feel a personal connection with an attorney that you are interviewing, he may be the right choice for your estate plan update. Estate planning is a highly personal and private endeavor. Having a comfortable relationship with the person who is going to be creating or updating your plan increases the chances that your plan will work as you hope it will.
At the Law Office of James F. Roberts & Associates, APC, we have helped countless clients update their estate plans in order to better reflect their current circumstances and goals. It would be our pleasure to speak with you about how we may be able to help you, too. You can reach out to us without even having to pick up a phone—simply fill out the easy, online contact form directly on our website to get started.