Hiring an estate planning attorney is one of the biggest and most important steps that you can take. It can be intimidating to discuss topics such as death and family relationships with a stranger, but the ideal estate planning attorney will inspire a sense of trust and confidence. The right estate planning attorney can make this process seamless, so you can get back to enjoying your life with your loved ones.
It’s important to know what to look for when hiring a lawyer to help you to plan your estate. Each client has different needs and a consultation with a lawyer can help you to determine whether you are a good fit for each other. Here are a few questions to consider during these consultations. Once you know exactly what you should be looking for when choosing a planning professional, you’ll be much better positioned to hire an attorney who will provide the kind of love, attention, care, and trust you deserve.
1. How Do You Bill for Your Services?
Don’t be afraid to be straightforward when asking attorneys how they bill for the work they do. Questions about billing and payment should arise very early in consultations to avoid any surprises down the line. At North County Legal, we provide this information to you during the consultation stage, so you can make this important decision with confidence.
2. How Will You Respond to My Needs on An Ongoing Basis?
It’s important that you feel secure in the knowledge that your lawyer will be there for you and your loved ones on an ongoing basis. Estate planning isn’t a “one and done” activity. As your life evolves, your estate plan will need to adapt. That’s why you need an estate planning attorney who will be responsive for the long haul.
At North County Legal, we establish lasting, long term relationships with many of our clients and their families. We are trusted to respond to their needs on an ongoing basis. Because we are so in tune with our clients’ needs, we are able to respond quickly when there are important life changes or when family members need support or guidance.
3. How Will You Proactively Communicate with Me on An Ongoing Basis?
The sad truth is most lawyers do a terrible job of staying in regular communication with their clients. Unfortunately, most lawyers don’t have their business systems set up for ongoing, proactive communication, and they don’t have the time to really get to know you or your family.
Think of it this way: your estate plan is what your family will turn to when something happens to you. You want to work with a lawyer who has systems in place to keep your documents up to date and to ensure your assets are owned in the right way throughout your lifetime. Ideally, the lawyer should get to know you and your family over time, so when something happens, your lawyer can be there for the people you love, and there will already be an underlying relationship and trust.
At North County Legal, we are committed to proactive communication and keeping you and your family informed on an ongoing basis.
A Lasting Relationship
Hiring the right estate planning lawyer is one of the most critical choices you can make for yourself, your future and your loved ones. Remember, this is the individual you are trusting to serve on your behalf to protect and provide for your loved ones in the event of life’s most traumatic experiences.
Should you choose the wrong person for the job, your family could potentially face all manner of unnecessary conflicts, expenses, and legal entanglements during a time when they are at their most vulnerable. In the end, estate planning is about far more than having a lawyer create a set of documents for you, and then never seeing you again, or only seeing you when something goes wrong.
At North County Legal, we develop a relationship with you and with your family that stands the test of time. Our unique, family-centered legal services are specifically tailored to provide our clients with the kind of love, attention, and trust we’d want for our own loved ones.