Three Key Questions to Ask an Estate Planning Attorney

Being the new year, now is a great time to revisit (or create) your estate plan. If something were to happen to you this year, there’s no better gift for your family than to have a plan in place.

Partnering with an estate planning attorney is an important decision. It is critical to hire an attorney with good knowledge of estate planning and how to use the tools available to create the best plan for your particular needs.

Like any professional relationship, you’ll want to ask questions of the lawyer before deciding whether or not you will hire him or her. We recommend the following questions:

  1. How does the attorney’s estate planning process achieve your goals? Just like every family’s needs are different, you should make sure the attorney you hire does not have a one-size-fits all approach when putting together an estate plan for clients. This is because what may work well in one situation may not in another. Be sure that the attorney you hire familiarizes him or herself with your specific situation and custom tailors a plan that will meet your goals and needs.
  2. What are the advantages and disadvantages of the various planning tools for your situation? A knowledgeable estate planning attorney will be able to explain the benefits and risks of the different estate planning tools – such as wills, trusts, pre or post nuptial agreements, and healthcare proxies, among others – available to you under the law. He or she should be able to explain this in terms that you can understand, and explain how these tools work in your specific situation.
  3. How does the attorney ensure your plan will work with your assets so that your plan works as intended? This question is particularly important if you have life insurance, retirement plans, annuities, or own a business, . A well-crafted estate plan will ensure that your beneficiary designations and the ownership of your assets are aligned with your estate planning documents and overall goals. A whole-picture approach to your estate plan is the best way to make sure your family’s needs are met.

Estate planning is a very personal aspect of one’s life and addresses sensitive issues. Making sure you choose the right experienced attorney can make all the difference when your family members needs your estate plan the most.

We would be honored to discuss these questions and your needs with you. Give us a call, or shoot us an email, today.