Have you ever seen families that struggle to determine who will make important medical or property decisions in the event a breadwinner becomes incapacitated? This is a situation that you wouldn’t want your family to go through. There is no great gift for your family than erasing their uncertainty with estate planning.
This may seem like a challenging thing to do. But, it’s an essential step that helps to plan your debts, allocate your assets, and ensure that your medical wishes are honored in times of need. The good news is that you don’t have to go through this alone. An estate planning attorney can help you make a plan, avoid probate, reduce estate tax laws, and manage ongoing trusts.
However, you need to choose the right attorney. Here are some helpful tips on how to find an estate planning attorney.
Do Your Research
You can now do your homework before settling for any attorney. There are numerous resources online like lawyers.com, Avvo, and Nolo. They have lists of qualified lawyers in Arizona. You could also ask for a referral from your friends and family. An attorney who has previously worked with people you know gives you peace of mind. It comes from knowing they have handled previous cases successfully.
The local or state bar association could also be a great referral. They have a list of their members and their respective practice areas.
Areas of Specialty
You will find many attorneys who claim to do estate planning. However, you don’t need to work with a jack of all trades. Just like there are different areas of specialization in medicine, the same applies to law. Look for an attorney who limits their practice to the estate planning area of the law. This means that the lawyer is abreast of the current issues and laws that surround estate planning. Furthermore, such an attorney can identify areas that could cause problems if proper planning is not done.
Look for someone you can trust.
Estate planning is delicate. You need to be able to trust the lawyer that you’re working with. The right lawyer should keep your affairs confidential and not divulge any important details to outside sources.
Always choose an experienced attorney.
It’s easy to get lured to inexperienced attorneys who haven’t handled any estate planning work before. However, this could end up being a costly affair. Make sure that you choose someone who has the perfect blend of years in estate planning and one that has passion for their work. Some lawyers are passionate but lack experience, while others have the experience but are at their peak of their career. An attorney with a balance of both is essential.
Promptness and Communication
Most people make the mistake of assuming that because lawyers seem easy to talk to and friendly, they are easy to work with. However, you need to ask how long it will take a prospective attorney to respond when contacted. You don’t want to be in a situation where you need to wait for several days before you can get in touch with your attorney. Promptness on all assignments is also a good indication of a competent attorney.
These are some of the tips for how to select an estate planning attorney. Remember to do your due diligence and trust your instinct before settling on an attorney.
Call our Arizona Estate Planning team at (480)467-4325 to discuss your case today.