Selecting an Attorney
Choosing an attorney for estate planning purposes is important
because you will work closely with this person on ciritical
and sensitive matters. It is vital that you choose a qualified
lawyer whom you trust and respect. Generally, this should
be someone who is experienced in:
- Tax law
- Family law
- Estate administration
Do not seek help from a lawyer who has not been recommended
to you. Ask friends and relatives whom they have hired to
help with estate affairs.
You can also contact a legal professional association or
the American College of Trust
and Estate to find the best attorneys in your area.
The Law Directory, which can be found in most libraries,
discloses peer ratings of hundreds of attorneys.
After you have compiled a list of recommended attorneys,
set up initial consultations with each of them. During these
meetings, which are usually free of charge, you should:
- Figure out whether or not the attorney is someone with
whom you will feel comfortable working.
- Ask them for a written estimate of the total costs. Some
attorneys charge per hour, while others charge a percentage
of the estate assets.
- Choose carefully based on your personal opinion of the
attorney and the fee structure.