Many people find the act of drafting an estate to be overwhelming and difficult. Because of this, it is not uncommon for someone to hire an attorney to assist in this process. While this may make some things simpler, there are also important matters that you need to address with you attorney before you begin estate planning. To assist with this process, we have put together this blog containing questions that we think are beneficial to ask your attorney when you are drafting an estate.
What is your primary focus?
One of the first questions you should be asking this attorney is if estate planning is their primary focus. It is important to have an expert, or someone extremely knowledgeable in the estate planning field. Begin this process by finding out just how well versed they are in estate planning.
How long have you been working in this field?
Along with finding someone knowledgeable, it is also important to find someone who has a great deal of experience in this specific field. Some attorney’s may have had court cases directly with the IRS, which is great experience in helping with tax related issues in an estate plan.
Who executes the plan in our agreement?
Sometimes when working with an attorney on an estate, they may help in drafting the plan, but do not actually execute the agreement. Make sure you are both on the same terms and know what you both expect before beginning the process.
What about periodic reviews?
Over time your estate may require changes and updates. Examples of this may be life changes or changes in finances. Find out if your attorney can periodically review your estate for any necessary changes.
What all does your help entail?
It is a good idea to find out exactly what the attorney will be helping with. For example, find out if they are planning on assisting you with wills, power of attorneys, trusts and life insurances. It is a good idea to find someone who will not only assist with these areas but is also knowledgeable in them.
What about your pricing?
Some attorney’s may bill by the hour while others charge a flat fee. Before beginning the process of working together, ask about the pricing and how it works. It is not favorable to receive surprises when it comes to bills and payments.
What’s your deal with a revocable living trust?
A revocable living trust involves putting assets within to avoid certain court costs and processes. It may be a good idea for your certain circumstances, although some attorneys charge extra for these. Find out your attorney’s situation with this type of trust.
Approximately how long will you be working on this?
While attorneys can be a big help in this process, they are not always the only place you should be seeking help when it comes to your estate plan. Many people also seek assistance with accountants, money managers or retirement planners as well. Finding out how long the attorney is going to work on this process will allow you to make time to work with others as well.
Will I be sent documentation to review?
While it is a good idea to work with someone experienced and trustworthy, it is still recommended to review the documents yourself before filing. Even the best in any field can make mistakes!
Who takes over if you’re unavailable?
Things come up, whether it is sickness, family emergencies, car issues or more. There is always the possibility that your attorney may not be available to work with you or address a specific issue. Find out if there is a backup person you can speak to in the event of your main attorney being out of the office.
Estate Planning is very important and finding the best people to help you with it is just as essential. Along with having an estate attorney, you could speak with us, Singh Insurance and Financial Services with the process of drafting your estate or planning for retirement. We have a great deal of experience in many financial areas!