The most important choice for you to make is picking the right estate planning lawyer.
The good news is that it’s pretty easy to find a good lawyer. Almost every single estate lawyer provides a free consultation of some sort. This is your chance to get a feel for the lawyer and law firm. Always interview a minimum of two lawyers and if you have the time, you should talk to at least three.
These consultations are not just about you getting advice on what to do, but also serve as an opportunity for you to get a feel for how good the lawyer/law firm is.
A few warning signs to look out for:
1. Are you actually meeting with a lawyer on the first meeting? If you are meeting with a paralegal on the first meeting that is going to set the tone for the relationship. It means the lawyer didn’t have the time to meet with you on the first meeting. Think about that for a second. If they don’t have time to talk to you when trying to get you to pay them, how likely are they to talk to you after they have received your money? This means, you will likely communicate with the paralegal 95% of the time. I would not hire this law firm.
2. How well does the lawyer communicate with you? A great lawyer can simplify the process and make it easy to understand. A bad lawyer will use big words and won’t explain the concepts in a way you can understand. They will say things like “that is just the law” or “You are hiring me so you don’t have to understand the law.”
3. How do you feel after the meeting? Did the lawyer actually listen to you? Did he or she tailor the advice and strategy to your specific situation or were they just giving a generic sales pitch? Did it seem like the lawyer actually cared? If a lawyer doesn’t care about your situation or seem motivated to fight for you, then if things get difficult, they won’t. It’s that simple.
When it comes to an estate plan, more is not always better. You want someone who is going to pick the right type of estate plan for your situation. Oftentimes lawyers recommend exotic trusts or other vehicles that are totally unnecessary. In addition, they cost much more than a simple estate plan.
I have worked with hundreds of families and for 95% of them, a simple, cheap estate plan worked. There are some situations where a more complex estate plan is needed (tax planning, trusts, protecting children from divorce, etc.) and if your situation requires that, then a good lawyer will explain WHY.
If you want to discuss your financial situation in more detail you can call 469-607-8552 and set up your free financial strategy session (30 minutes). Also, if you decide to hire my law firm and mention this letter, you will receive a 10% discount on your fees.