You probably don’t want to think about the need for an estate-planning lawyer. But the truth is, you will have an estate when you pass away. If you don’t have a plan for how you want things divided up or disbursed, the state will handle things for you. Unfortunately, the government will most likely not handle your things in the best manner. The right attorney will help you think through your best options for:
- Dividing property, cash and other assets among loved ones Liquidating non-cash assets, such as retirement accounts or stocks
- Naming an executor for your estate
- Satisfying any outstanding obligations
- Naming someone to take care of minor children, elderly parents, or loved ones for whom you are responsible
Before you go to just any attorney, however, it is wise to research ones that may specialize in this type of law. You will have to pay for their services, so you want to make sure it is money well spent.
When researching avocat indivision, consider the following qualities:
Types and Sizes
When researching or talking with a potential attorney, ask how many clients they have had for estates of different sizes. If all of their clients have had large amounts of property and assets and yours is more modest, you may want to reconsider. Perhaps those clients are not as worried about fees that may be charged for handling things a certain way because they have the funds to cover those costs. Also, have they dealt with clients who had some of the same types of assets as you? Do you own a business? Do you have multiple properties? Do you have a large family or extended family? All of these are things to consider when making your plan. You want to work with someone who can give you real examples and outcomes based on their clientele.
Make sure the firm has this particular type of experience. Knowing business law, family law, or general practice may not be specific enough for your needs. How long have they been providing this type of service? How many attorneys in their firm provide this service? Does their supporting staff have experience, as well? Reputation Along with experience, you want to feel comfortable that your estate-planning lawyer has a good reputation. See if there are any reviews available online. If they have worked with a particular financial institution, ask someone there about their experience working with the attorney and staff. If you are in a small town and the firm has been there for a while, chances are, they are doing something right.
Retaining a lawyer will cost you. That is, after all, how they make their living. You will find that costs vary. Some may charge based on the size of your estate. However, you also need to know how much the execution of your wishes will cost when the time comes. What are the fees and for how long? Make sure you understand all the costs of your plan, not just the immediate cost of developing it.
Do your homework for an estate-planning lawyer, so your loved ones will be taken care of as you intended.