Choosing a wills, trusts and estate planning lawyer is a decision that should be made only after careful consideration of all the facts. To make the process easier, here are five tips on what clients should look for in an estate planning attorney with the law office of Raoul J. LeClerc.
Area of Focus
The most critical rule in selecting an estate planning lawyer is to choose one with a narrow focus. There are many different legal specialties, and potential clients should avoid attorneys who claim to handle all areas equally well. Estate law is a complex legal area, and attorneys should narrow their focus to provide adequate legal advice.
As with other big purchases, consumers should do their research before hiring an estate planning lawyer. Attorneys with a strong online presence are seen as more credible, and the lawyer’s website can offer clues as to their abilities, experience and focus. Clients should look for websites with blog posts, articles and other useful information, and the site should be regularly updated with new legal developments.
Beware of Attorneys with Tunnel Vision
When it is time for a preliminary consultation, the client should ensure that the lawyer considers their entire family and financial situation. Proper estate planning requires a complete analysis of tax consequences, beneficiaries’ needs and designations, and assets outside of probate. It is the attorney’s job to gather as much relevant information as possible in order to form a solid plan.
Avoid Attorneys with a Universal Approach
Estate planning is a complex area, and clients should avoid lawyers with a one-size-fits-all approach. Some attorneys recommend living trusts for all clients, regardless of whether there may be cheaper, simpler alternatives. In some cases, an estate lawyer in Chico, CAmay use ready-made forms without customizing them to meet clients’ needs. Every case is different, and attorneys must work to find unique solutions.
Look for Attorneys with Fee Transparency
Attorneys who work in the estate planning field should be able to provide an estimate of the total fees, but they typically do not offer quotes until they know the facts of the case. If an estate lawyer in Chico, CA quotes a price before the initial interview, the potential client should be skeptical, and they should consider going to an attorney with a more transparent fee structure.