KEY QUESTIONS

Three Key Questions to Ask an Estate Planner

Hiring an estate planner is a significant decision. After all, you are going to putting your trust in an estate planning attorney whose efforts will protect your loved ones once you are no longer living. Consequently, it is crucial to hire a lawyer who has substantial knowledge of estate planning and can use the tools available to create the ideal plan for your particular needs. You need to choose someone who will protect you rights and has your best interests at heart. You will want to be sure to ask the right questions because you are not merely deciding to hire an estate planning lawyer, you are choosing the legal professional who will help determine your and your family’s future. Consider asking these three key questions when you’re looking to hire an estate planning attorney.

How can the lawyer’s estate planning process help you to achieve your goals?

Since every family has different needs, you should ensure that the attorney you work is flexible. You won’t be best served with a cookie-cutter approach. You need a custom-tailored estate plan that will cover all aspects of your estate. What works well for someone else’s situation may not necessarily be a good fit for yours. Be sure that the lawyer you choose familiarizes her or himself with your specific situation and personalizes a plan that will meet your needs and goals.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of the attorney’s various planning tools for your situation? 

An experienced and knowledgeable estate planning lawyer should be able to explain the risks and benefits of the different estate planning tools available to you under the law. This includes wills, trusts, healthcare proxies, power of attorney documents, pre or postnuptial agreements, and more. Your lawyer should be able to explain this in straightforward terms that you can easily understand and explain how these tools can work in your specific situation.

How does the lawyer account for other assets, and will he or she ensure your plan works will all of them? 

This may seem like an odd question. However, it is especially important if you have other assets in place already. These can include retirement plans, life insurance policies, and more. A well-designed estate plan should incorporate other assets in such a way that they help to offset income taxes, equalize individual inheritances, or leave a pre-established legacy. A big-picture approach to your estate plan is one of the best ways to ensure you and your family’s needs are met.

Indeed, estate planning is a very personal aspect of anyone’s life and may occur during a time of grief, family tragedy, or accompany sensitive events. Making sure you choose the most qualified and appropriate attorney for your situation can make all the difference now and in the future. Find yourself an estate planning lawyer that best serves you while also providing an assuring, compassionate, and accommodating experience. Schedule a one-on-one, private consultation with your potential attorney and ask these and other significant questions about how to start planning and protecting your legacy.

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