Choosing the right lawyer to help you develop an estate plan is a key step in preparing for the future. But how do you find a lawyer in the first place? And how do you know your lawyer is the right lawyer for you? Picking an estate planning attorney is not difficult, but you can take steps to ensure you find a lawyer that fits your needs.
Tip 1: Come up with a list of potential attorneys. If you don’t know where to start, you can contact your state bar association and ask for referrals to local estate planning attorneys. Ask for several names and create a list with each and their contact information. You can also talk to friends and family members to see if they have a lawyer they recommend.
Tip 2: Call them. Each attorney, or law firm, should be able to provide you with a free initial consultation, either in person or over the phone. Scheduling a time to meet with the lawyer in person is usually best, as there are some things you cannot learn simply by talking over the phone.
Tip 3: Interview them. Once you set up your meeting, be ready to ask questions. How much experience does the attorney have? Is she a certified estate planning specialist? Does she have malpractice insurance? Does she charge by the hour or on a flat fee basis? Write down all your questions before you meet with the attorney and write down the answers so you can review them later. Once you’ve talked to each attorney, you can then make a more educated decision.