If you’ve been on the fence as to whether you need to hire an experienced estate attorney, consider this – estate planning is a serious matter, one that positively or negatively affects the lives of those you love.
Imagine this: you’re a single mom who works hard day in and day out to provide an incredible life for you and your children. But, one day you are involved in a horrible car crash and die instantly. Although you had a list of people who would care for your kids (in your mind), you never discussed the issue with anyone or asked if they were even financially able or emotionally invested in caring for your kids. When you pass, your kids go to their mostly-absent father, your unreliable mother, or worst-case scenario, your kids became wards of the state. It’s sad, and it tugs at your heartstrings, but the fact of the matter is that the situation could have been prevented if only you had planned ahead with a workable estate plan.
An estate attorney can help you plan ahead. Not only are they knowledgeable about federal and state laws for estate planning, but they can also help you appoint guardians for your children, help you figure out who can and should be designated as your representative or trustee, and help you set up a will or a trust to provide for your kids.
Additionally, a good attorney can help you understand how the probate process works, explain the tax ramifications for different estate planning vehicles, ensure that all legal documentation is adequately written and witnessed, and help you plan for your future and the future of your kids – even when you’re no longer here.If you’re ready to move forward with the hiring of competent counsel, here are three tips for choosing a qualified estate planning attorney:
1.Ask Around. Obtain recommendations from family members, friends, your accountant or financial planner, or your bar associations. Interview prospective attorneys to ensure that you’re comfortable with their expertise in estate planning (especially as it relates to wills and trusts), personality, educational background, and fee structure.
2.Consider hiring a specialist. Make sure any prospective attorney is qualified to handle your particular estate planning case. Not only should they be experienced in estate planning, but they should be licensed in the relevant state and have a bar membership in good standing. Watch out for “jack of all trades” who practice in 17 areas of law, including wills. Chances are they are not well-versed in estate planning.
3.Check References. Contact past clients to inquire about their previous experience with the prospective attorney.
A qualified estate attorney will not only represent your interests when you’re no longer here, but they can protect the interests of your heirs as well. Just don’t rush through the selection process. Instead, take your time, obtain recommendations, and check their background and references.
Then, hire a professional, like Iffy at Ibekwe Law, PLLC, who is highly recommended by past clients, has the professional and educational background, and truly wants to help you. Collaboratively, you and the Ibekwe team can design an effective estate plan that protects you, fortifies those assets you’ve worked so hard for, and provides security for your loved ones.