An estate planning lawyer is a professional who, through many years of continuing legal learning, mentoring, and experience, knows how to advise their customers on getting their affairs in the right order to prepare for the possibility of disability (mental) and eventual death. Note that estate planning doesn’t start or end with your last will and testament.

An experienced estate planning lawyer can help you draft a living trust, create a plan to avoid some estate taxes, and work towards making sure that your savings and assets are safe from your heirs’ creditors after you die.

The attorney can prepare health care directives and arrange for someone to take care of your affairs if you ever become mentally incapacitated to handle financial and other related matters. The lawyer can help you avoid conservatorship or guardian issues in case you require someone else to take care of your affairs.

Essential qualities of a good estate planning attorney

According to Weisinger Law Firm, not all lawyers provide the same quality of service. Therefore, it’s important to understand the right qualities of a reliable estate planning lawyer before you hire one. Here is what to look for.

Knowledge and experience

A general law practitioner might not have the required experience and specialized knowledge to help you with your specific family and financial situations. Always look for a trained attorney who devotes his or her practice to estate planning.

The attorney should put your interests first

Hire someone you feel comfortable sharing private details of different aspects of your life and concerns with. This will ensure that you and the lawyer create a robust estate plan that won’t fail your needs and expectations.

Someone who understands the trends

The estate planning attorney you plan to hire should be well-versed in various trends in the law and other relevant issues in your state. Otherwise, the estate plan you worked so hard to create might be deemed invalid by a court.

Estate planning payments

Be ready to pay high legal fees to get a robust estate plan created, kept safe, and regularly updated by a reliable and knowledgeable lawyer who specializes in this area of the law. Remember, you will be paying for the lawyer’s expertise gained over the years of handling different clients and probably taking a multitude of continuing legal education lessons. After all, you get what you pay for.

Some lawyers with limited or no experience in estate planning and non-attorneys are always willing to sell revocable living trusts via what’s commonly referred to as ‘living trust mills.’ In case your lawyer’s fee appears to be too good to be true, probably he or she is selling these revocable living trusts to you.

Note that your estate stands to lose more money in the future than the cost of hiring a trained, reliable, and experienced estate planning attorney now. If, for instance, contentious probate drags out in the event of your death or estate taxes come due to that could have otherwise been avoided, that could make your beneficiaries incur more legal and court fees, and probably wish that you had spent your wealth before you died.

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