One of the most difficult things for most attorneys to deal with is meeting with potential clients, hearing their stories, and having to say, “I’m sorry. I cannot help you.” The popular image of attorneys is that they are in it for themselves. People think that attorneys do not care about their clients. However, the truth is that most attorneys got into the profession because they like to help people. Those that do not like to help others, do not stay attorneys for very long.
Estate planning attorneys have to confront this issue all the time. Clients come into the office and the attorney has to say that he or she cannot help. This is because the people coming into the office are the wrong people. They are someone who has had a relative pass away and they are looking for an appropriate and easy way for that relative’s assets to be distributed without the need for Probate or without the need to pay estate taxes. Unfortunately, it’s too late to do either of those things and the attorney has to break that news.
I’m not telling you this so that you will feel bad for attorneys. I’m letting you know to encourage you not to put your relatives in a position where an attorney will have to deliver them bad news. Get an estate plan now.