The following is a list of tips you can use to help you find a qualified estate planning lawyer.
Tip #1: Choose an estate planning lawyer you trust. Nothing is more important in a lawyer/client relationship than having a lawyer you trust.
Tip #2: Choose an estate planning lawyer who creates your estate plan herself. If the attorney has an assistant create your estate plan, then why hire the attorney? Note, however, it is common for lawyers in solo practice to ask a funding coordinator to transfer property into your trust. Even so, funding is a fairly routine function and you are well protected as long as the lawyer supervises the process.
Tip #3: Choose an estate planning lawyer who provides excellent service. Anything less is not acceptable.
Tip #4: Choose an estate planning lawyer who welcomes your questions — and structures meetings by allowing enough time to answer questions. High-volume practices have short appointments so they can move clients quickly through the process. I don’t know about you, but this is not the level of service I expect when I hire a lawyer.
Tip #5: Choose an estate planning lawyer who will return your phone calls quickly. You should never hire a lawyer who won’t respond promptly to your needs.
Tip #6: Choose an estate planning lawyer who is a respected source of information — one who has dedicated her practice to helping people understand their estate planning alternatives.
Tip #7: Choose an estate planning lawyer who charges reasonable flat fees. At best, you get what you pay for. Most people do not shop for the cheapest doctor. Instead, they focus on the doctor’s qualifications and experience. You should apply the same principle when selecting an estate planning attorney. If the fee is too low, the lawyer may be leaving something out. Make sure the fee you pay and the services you receive are of equal value.
Tip #8: Choose an estate planning lawyer who offers free initial consultations. Shouldn’t you be able to talk with the lawyer for free before you decide whether to hire her?
Also, ask specific questions about your estate and your objectives, such as: “How do I protect my children from abusive relatives if something happens to me?” “Can I keep my kids from controlling their entire inheritance at age 18?” “Can I protect my children’s money from creditors?” “How can I leave money for my child’s education?”
Kinsey Law Group, P.C. was formed to focus on the needs of families. We are dedicated to assisting you in the areas of Estate Planning and Assisted Reproduction/Surrogacy. If you have questions or concerns, you’re invited to call 301-968-1630 or send an e-mail any time, without cost or obligation.
Locations: Montgomery County (Bethesda, Maryland); Prince George’s County (Largo, Maryland) and Washington, D.C.