6 Steps You Should Take In Choosing an Estate Planning Attorney

An estate planning attorney is a type of lawyer who specializes in helping individuals plan for the management and distribution of their assets and property after they pass away or become incapacitated. Estate planning attorneys can help clients create legal documents such as wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and healthcare directives to ensure that their wishes are carried out after they are no longer able to make decisions for themselves.

In addition to drafting legal documents, estate planning attorneys can also provide guidance and advice on a range of issues related to estate planning, such as minimizing tax liability, protecting assets from creditors, and planning for long-term care. They can also assist with the administration of estates, including probate and trust administration.

How is an Estate Planning Attorney Different From a Regular Attorney

An estate planning attorney is a specialized type of lawyer who focuses on the specific area of estate planning. While both estate planning attorneys and general attorneys have legal training, there are several key differences between the two:

1. Area of Expertise: Estate planning attorneys have specialized knowledge in the area of estate planning, including drafting wills, trusts, and other documents related to asset distribution and management after death or incapacity. General attorneys, on the other hand, may work in a variety of legal areas, such as criminal law, corporate law, family law, and more.

2. Clientele: Estate planning attorneys typically work with individuals and families who are planning for the future, whereas general attorneys may work with a wider range of clients, including businesses, organizations, and individuals with a variety of legal needs.

3. Legal Documents: Estate planning attorneys are specifically trained in creating legal documents such as wills, trusts, and powers of attorney. General attorneys may also be able to draft these documents, but may not have the same level of expertise and experience.

4. Planning Strategy: Estate planning attorneys can provide advice and guidance on the most effective strategies for managing and distributing assets, minimizing tax liability, and protecting assets from creditors. General attorneys may not have the same level of knowledge and experience in these areas.

6 Steps You Should Take When Choosing an Estate Planning Attorney

Choosing an estate planning attorney is an important decision that requires careful consideration. Here are some steps you should take when selecting an estate planning attorney:

1. Determine Your Needs: First, think about your specific estate planning needs. Do you need help with drafting a will or trust? Are you concerned about minimizing tax liability or protecting your assets? Make a list of your needs and priorities to help you find an attorney who can meet them.

2. Research Attorneys: Next, research estate planning attorneys in your area. You can start by asking for referrals from friends or family members, or by searching online. Look for attorneys who have experience in estate planning and check their credentials and reviews.

3. Schedule Consultations: Once you have a list of potential attorneys, schedule consultations to discuss your needs and ask questions. Many attorneys offer free consultations, so take advantage of this to get a sense of their expertise, communication style, and overall approach.

4. Ask About Fees: It’s important to understand how an attorney charges for their services. Ask about their fees and billing practices, including whether they charge a flat fee or hourly rate, and whether there are any additional costs you should be aware of.

5. Consider Compatibility: Estate planning is a personal and emotional process, so it’s important to find an attorney who you feel comfortable working with. Consider the attorney’s communication style, responsiveness, and overall demeanor when deciding whether they are a good fit for you.

6. Check References: Before making a final decision, ask for references from the attorney and contact them to get a sense of their experience working with the attorney.

By taking these steps, you can find an estate planning attorney who can help you navigate the complex and emotional process of planning for the future.

If you have questions or concerns about your current estate plan or need to begin the estate planning process, our experienced estate planning attorneys can help. Call Lepore Law at 718-354-8646 and we would be happy to schedule a consultation.