There is more to estate planning than putting things down on a piece of paper, signing and date stamping it. Various formal requirements have to be followed to ensure the validity of the estate planning documents. At times, lawyers without much experience in estate planning law try to help their clients with estate planning but this can lead to adverse consequences. In such a backdrop, it becomes imperative to gauge the skill and knowledge of the lawyer who is going to undertake your estate planning work. To make things easy, we have compiled a questionnaire that you can present to a prospective lawyer during the initial discussion:
- The first question to ask your attorney is how much of their practice involves estate planning. Your goal here should be to determine whether your chosen attorney is an expert in the field and carries the necessary skill and experience to cater to your needs. If your attorney says that they do occasional estate planning, then they might not be the right one for you. It is usual for attorneys to get defensive and try to explain that estate planning is not very difficult and that their practice mostly involves litigation. You can reason with them saying that estate planning can help protect you while you are alive and provide for your loved ones in your demise. This is why you need to hire an attorney who possesses the right set of skills and experience to handle your estate.
- Next you will have to talk about what is included in the estate plan. The basic documents that every person needs to have as a part of their estate plan are a durable power of attorney, a last will and testament, a healthcare power of attorney, and a living will. You might also require additional documents like a supplemental needs trust for handicapped or disabled members of your family. Young children might require guardianship in your absence alongside a minor’s trust which will preserve your money for your children until they become of legal age to handle the finances themselves. Your estate planning might have to include other types of trusts if you own a variety of assets including real estate, businesses, or other valuable items. While some estate plans are simple, others can be extremely complicated. Your chosen attorney should be able to recognize your and your family’s specific needs to customize an estate plan which can help meet the same.
- Thirdly, you will have to enquire about how the estate planning attorney will charge for the estate planning services offered. A skilled Reno Estate Planning Attorney will offer a quote of flat fee charges for the estate planning work they undertake. They will give adequate time to understand the specific requirements of customers before quoting a fee. Rather than blindly throwing out quotes, these experts will offer a consultation to develop a deeper understanding of the estate planning documents.
Expert assistance is required for estate planning. You can be sure about hiring the best lawyer if you can get clear answers to these above-mentioned questions.