Here Are 9 Ways to Hire Better Wills and Estate Lawyer
Everybody thinks that estate planning is something that should be done far off in the future. However, we recommend you start looking for a will and estate lawyer as soon as possible, whether you are in your forties or sixties. Research has shown that over 60% of Canadian citizens don’t have a written will, and out of the ones who do, 10% of them have outdated wills. In the United States, only 42% have wills drawn. This research also showed that most people don’t like planning for their deaths due to fear and procrastination.
The theory where everyone thinks that they are going to live up to 90-100 years is among the contributors to procrastinating estate planning. We all have an expiration date, whether it comes at 40 or 110; the best thing we can do for our family and loved ones is drawing up a will. So what are the things you need to look out for when looking for an estate lawyer? Read on below to find out:
- Establish what you need from your estate lawyer
Before starting the search, it’s essential to know what you need from the lawyer. This includes knowing what services you require from them. A probate lawyer’s job is not to read the will to your family. His job entails estate planning, drawing up your will as per your directives, and ensuring all documents are signed with proper witnesses.
- Ensure they specialize in estate planning
The most important thing is to find a lawyer whose primary focus is estate planning. The process is often complicated and requires a base knowledge and experience to give you the best services.
- Ask around and check online for referrals
Use reputable sources that are available on the internet to check lawyer reviews and referrals. Ensure you don’t fall for provocative marketing slogans used by some lawyers to attract client attention. However, the best place to look for referrals is from financial advisors and other lawyers you trust.
- Does the attorney assist with a revocable living trust?
During the search process, ensure you ask the big scary questions: can they help with adequately funding your possessions into a living trust? Most attorneys are well experienced when it comes to estate planning, but are unable to help you fund a revocable living trust. This becomes a problem when you pass on, and your assets were not well titled to the created trust when you were alive, leaving your loved ones stuck in financial chaos.
- Do they have malpractice insurance?
Ensure you choose a lawyer with malpractice insurance. This shows they are willing to take accountability in case they make a mistake in the future. Malpractice insurance also means that the lawyer puts his clients’ needs first and is willing to protect them against future expensive errors.
- Do they assist with avoidance of the probate process?
The main reason for hiring an estate lawyer is to help you avoid the probate process. If an attorney brushes off a probate, take it as a red flag. They are more interested in money than your interests as a client.
- Ensure you have full disclosure about the legal fees
While many prospectus estate attorneys may not be able to give you an exact amount you will use for the estate planning process, they can give you an estimated fee. Be careful with attorneys who give a flat rate without examining the work at hand. Also, ensure that your lawyer is not extending the planning process to keep billing you for the hours they have worked. Be clear on how they will be billing you; is it a flat rate or an hourly rate to avoid future confusion.
- Project length
When looking for an estate attorney, put in mind the length of the project. How long do you want the project to take and is your future estate attorney willing to put these hours aside to work on your project? Will they be willing to work with you and share any documents for you to review every step? The goal is to find someone you can efficiently work with.
- Hire an estate lawyer you have chemistry with
During the searching process, ensure you settle for one you are comfortable working with. They will be handling a lot of intimate and sensitive parts of your life. Ensure you choose someone you can trust and is easy to work with.
Thinking about what will happen to your loved ones after your demise is scary. It’s therefore essential to have an expert help you plan out how your family will be taken care of if you are no longer here to do it. When looking for an attorney specializing in estate and wills Tweed Heads, ensure you follow the above tips.
About the Author:
Kim Hemphry is a passionate expert in the areas of Legal Matters, learning and education. She has been featured on over 50 leading Legal and education sites and is a modern thought leader in the field. More about her interests and articles on her site.
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