How to choose an Estate Planner – An experienced San Jose Bay Area estate planning attorney will help you determine the best method for protecting your estate during your life and after your passing. In addition, an estate planning attorney will be able to help you with the following:
- Creating a last will and testament
- Creating and funding trusts
- Protecting assets and your estate from potential creditors
- Setting up guardianships for your minor children
- Creating plans that will avoid or reduce the complex and lengthy probate process
- Creating power of attorney documents for health and finance
An estate plan will dictate how your assets will be distributed upon death and protect you if you become incapacitated. Here are a few tips on How to choose an Estate Planner:
Ask Friends and Family for Recommendations
Recommendations for an estate planning attorney can be valuable. If the attorney created successful estate plans for your friends and family, they would likely do the same for you. You will also be able to get an honest opinion about whether the estate planner was helpful, explained things thoroughly, was available to make corrections, and answered questions clearly and promptly.
Search for Local Estate Planning Attorneys
Estate planning laws vary state by state, so you need to find an attorney in the state of your residence to ensure that your state-specific laws are followed. Additionally, you will want to regularly update your estate planning documents when major changes occur in your life (such as births, marriages, divorces, or death), and your lawyer should be close enough that going to their office once every year or so will not be a hardship.
Interview Prospective Estate Planning Attorneys
You never want to hire an Estate Planning attorney before you learn about their personality and experience. Attorneys will perform initial interviews to understand your needs, during which you’ll have an opportunity to get an idea of what the attorney’s personality is like, how they work, and what they can do for you. The following questions can help you determine How to choose an Estate Planner.
- How long have you been practicing law?
- How long have you been creating estate plans?
- Who will be working with you on my estate plan?
- How and how often do I receive updates regarding my estate plan?
- How can I get in touch with you?
- What are your fees and rates?
- Are there additional charges outside of your fees and rates?
Ask About Support Staff and The Attorney’s Succession Plan
When working with an attorney, you may also work with their support staff, such as paralegals and administrative assistants. Understanding whom you will work with and their role can help determine whether the estate planner and their team are a good fit for you.
Additionally, every attorney must have a succession plan. If they move, retire, or pass away, their clients’ legal documents will need to be available. When working with a firm with multiple attorneys, the succession plan will be to attorneys within the same firm. However, if you are working with an attorney who practices solo, they will need to have a plan for who will take on their caseload if anything were to happen.
Contact Copenbarger & Copenbarger, LLP
Having the right attorney on your side can make a difference in your estate planning experience. You need someone to do more than fill in the blanks. You need a dedicated attorney who will look out for your best interests as if you were family. Contact our experienced San Jose Bay Area estate planning attorneys to learn how we can help protect your assets and safeguard your loved ones today. We would be happy to share the many ways that we can meet all the needs listed above and how we’ll be there for your family during all of life’s transitions. To schedule a consultation at our San Jose Bay Area estate planning law firm, or at one of our other law firms located throughout the state of California, simply call (800) 244-8814.