How to Find an Estate Planning Attorney

While I’m positive you know how to find an attorney, as it’s easy to make a few phone calls or look online. There are some key things you should look for and ask when searching for an estate planning attorney. The practice of law is increasingly becoming a service-based industry. Clients pay a high dollar value for the knowledge and experience of a licensed attorney and want their customer service to match the price. As with any service-based business, the experience can vary from one attorney to another. That’s why it’s important to ask the following questions and find an attorney that is truly a fit for you and your needs.

Focused Field: “Do you do trust administration and probate work?”

The best people in any profession are the ones who are focused on the specific area that you need. When creating your estate plan, hire an attorney who not only designs trusts but also administers them. Administering estates helps us create more effective wills and trusts for our clients.

Client-Centered: “What does good customer service mean to you?”

Quality customer service means efficient and informational interactions with clients. Many attorneys let the phones go to voicemail. At Dana and Associates, we have a team of paralegals and legal assistants ready to help when the attorney is out of the office or working on another case. We know that estate planning and probate matters can be stressful. This is why the greatest compliment we get from clients is, “You made that so easy.”

Paperless Solutions: “Do you include digital asset language in your estate planning documents?”

Do you use the internet and email? If so, your estate plan should include a plan to transfer any important information that is only stored electronically. It is crucial to have a way to share digital account information that doesn’t rely on sharing passwords. Your trustee or agent may need to track down important financial information in the event you can’t tell them where your accounts are. All of our plans include digital asset language in your Trust and Durable Power of Attorney to securely access online banking records.

Trust Funding: “Do you set aside time to help me fund my trust?”

Creating the trust and legal plan is only half the battle. It is your responsibility to retitle your assets into the name of your trust. If not done correctly, your estate may still need to be settled in probate court. Our attorneys devote an extra appointment to making sure your legal plan and financial plan are in harmony.

Document Storage: “Do you have a way to access original documents online?”

You and your family should have access to original documents at any time, from anywhere. In addition to providing you with your legal documents in a binder with a few helpful resources, we also provide a paperless solution to store your legal documents and important paperwork. All of our estate plans include a secure digital vault to store your estate planning documents so your will or trust can be accessed immediately.

Making an estate plan is challenging enough. You have to disclose financial information, talk through sensitive family dynamics, and plan for end of life choices. Hire a lawyer who is experienced in both estate planning and probate, has a team to help you through your plan, and prepares you for the future with proper trust funding and technological solutions. Asking these important questions can help ease you through the process and give you peace of mind. If you have estate planning questions, Dana and Associates is happy to help. Call our office today to schedule a Free Personal Family Legal Session.