Not All Attorneys Are Created Equal - Questions to Ask When Hiring An Attorney
Hiring the right attorney to draw up your estate plan is a big deal and is something that should be taken lightly. You shouldn’t just hire someone who promises to check a few boxes on a will or trust form for a good deal. You should be looking for someone who is going to listen to your questions, educate you on options and leave you confident in your decisions.
I recently came across a number of articles that suggested interviewing your prospective estate attorney before hiring them. While I have my opinion on who to hire, I agree that asking a few questions to assure you hire the right person is worth your time.
According to the article on The Balance, “Interviewing a Trust and Estate Attorney”, the author Julie Garber suggests that you ask the following questions of your prospective attorney.
1. Is Estate Planning your primary practice emphasis or just a one of the many areas you practice?
2. How much do you charge for your estate plan? Are services flat rate or hourly? What documents are included?
3. Do you provide a maintenance program for updating my estate plan as life changes?
Additionally, Investopedia suggests, in their article “Questions to Ask Your Estate Planning Attorney”, that you ask the prospective attorney how long it will take to complete the estate plan and whether or not the attorney handles more complex estate plans such as Supplemental Needs Trusts and Legacy Planning.
While those are a great start, I have a few more questions that I would add to the list to ensure you hire the right fit for your family.
1. Do you provide notary services on-site? If provided, are there additional fees?
2. Do you provide services to help fund my trust? If so, what are the fees?
3. Do you charge for follow up questions, calls or emails?
By far, one of the most important questions is a question you need to ask yourself – Can you see yourself working with the attorney? Estate Planning is personal and emotional. You are hiring someone that is going to capture your plans, dreams, hopes and legacy and make them clear and concise for your loved ones. You need to feel comfortable discussing private and sensitive issues with the person you hire. You need to be able to trust that they are guiding you on the right path for your family and educating you along the way.
I would be happy to spend some time answering your questions about estate planning for your family. Give me a call or send me an email to set up a free consultation. I can meet you at home in the evening, at your place of business during your lunch break or at the field or gym during your kids practice. Additionally, visit my website (www.ronsuggslaw.com/estateplanning-ourway) to get answers to the questions included mentioned above.