How to Choose an Estate Planning Attorney
You’ve decided that you want to create an estate plan for yourself and your family, but you don’t know where to start. How should you choose an attorney to create your estate planning documents? Which attorney should you choose? How do you know which attorney is right for you? There is a lot of information floating around about which attorney to choose and why, but the only person who can make the final decision is you.
For most people, the easiest way to search is to use the modern-day miracle that is formally known as Google. So, first things first: you’ll want to find an attorney who is licensed to practice in the state that you live in. For example, if you live in New Jersey, you will want to find a New Jersey attorney. It is a good idea to find an attorney that is within a comfortable distance from your home because you will most likely have to make a multiple visits to the attorney’s office. You can narrow your search by county, or further by town. Using the previous example, you can Google “New Jersey attorney” or “Essex County attorney” or “Millburn, NJ attorney”.
You will also want to find an attorney who specifically practices in estate planning law. The attorney you choose should have a solid understanding of the current New Jersey laws related to estate planning. Don’t be hesitant about asking for your attorney’s professional credentials. There should be nothing to hide! Remember: age doesn’t always translate to experience or ability. A young attorney can be just as competent as an older attorney. There is also a high probability that a younger attorney will still be practicing law when you need to change your estate plan or when it comes time to settle your estate. Whatever age, your attorney should have thorough knowledge of the different types of wills, trusts, durable powers of attorney, and advance directives. You should also feel comfortable about asking to speak with other satisfied clients.
Like Ahmad Law Offices, most attorneys offer complimentary consultations and do not charge you for your first meeting. If you would like to “shop around” for an estate planning attorney, this is a great offer to take advantage of when making your selection. During your initial meeting, your goal should be to get to know the attorney and gauge your comfort level with him or her. Feel free to ask any and all questions that you may have about estate planning. Before your meeting with the estate planning attorney, you’ll want to think about your estate (assets, debt, etc.) and how you would like to see your estate plan set up (who your executor will be, who your personal property will pass to) so that the attorney can get a general idea of what your estate looks like.
An important factor in making your decision about which estate planning attorney to choose is your comfort level with him or her. You’ll be sharing a lot of personal and financial information with your attorney, so you’ll want to select someone that you feel at ease with. Additionally, you might want to choose someone that you believe understands your family dynamic as well.
When choosing an estate planning attorney, the guidelines to keep in mind are the following: an estate planning attorney that practices in your home state (i.e., a New Jersey attorney), someone who has a substantial knowledge of the current estate planning laws, and an attorney that you feel comfortable with. To make an appointment with Ahmad Law Offices for your free consultation, you can call us at 973-346-7560 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article was created for informational and educational purposes only. It is not legal advice. Please read our full disclaimer here.