As with any big decision, including hiring an estate planning attorney, you should do some research.
Many estate planning attorneys take a “one-size fits all” approach with their clients; it may be that they do so they can work with as many people as possible in a short period of time. The problem is that the client has an impersonal experience; but even worse, this document-driven style of planning can lead to unintended results for the loved ones left behind.
When the lawyers do not take the time to listen and consider a family’s unique situation, the resulting estate planning documents do not reflect the intent behind the plan. If the attorney does not offer a review or update of your plan, the plan quickly becomes outdated and does not work when your family needs it most.
There are many options out there for you to prepare your estate plan; online services, standardized forms as well as other estate planning attorneys. If one of these options will create a plan that will actually work when you and your love ones need it most, then that is the right fit for you.
Here are some of the ways I am different:
- Fees are agreed to in advance, so there are no surprises. At our initial meeting, you will choose the level of planning and fee that works best for your family.
- I keep you informed and make sure your plan works. I don’t just provide you with a set of legal documents and send you on your way. I make sure your assets are owned in the right way, that your kids’ well-being is properly planned for; and I ensure everyone you’ve named in your plan knows what to do if anything happens to you.
- I foster a lifetime, ongoing relationship with our clients. Throughout your life, things will change. You change, your assets change, your family changes and the law will definitely change.
- I am here to answer your questions quickly and to make the planning process easy and painless for you and your family.
- I help you get your legal and financial house in order by helping you make smart choices about things, like buying insurance, saving for college and planning for retirement.
- I believe that planning is about so much more than the transfer of your financial wealth. We include a process to help you transfer your most important personal wealth to your loved ones, including your intellectual, spiritual and human assets – who you are and what’s important to you.
Before you hire an estate planning lawyer, you need to do your research. You want your estate plan to work when you and your family needs instead of ending up a pile of worthless paper after you are gone.