Let’s face it! Attorneys do not have the greatest reputation in the world, and deservedly so! Due in large part to many stories that we have heard about lawyers in the past, almost everyone has developed an opinion of lawyers during their lifetime, and quite a few people, have a very poor perception and opinion of lawyers. In addition, there are the countless lawyer jokes that we all know and love, including lawyers!
Perhaps the best lawyer joke that I have heard recently includes:
What is the difference between a jellyfish and a lawyer?
One’s a spineless, poisonous blob. And the other is a form of sea life.
Now, all joking aside, when consumers look for a lawyer to handle their estate planning needs they should be looking at more than just price. For instance, would you rather pick the cheapest lawyer to handle your estate plan, or would you rather pick the lawyer that will get everything right the first time and provide a smooth transition for your loved ones and your family when you are gone? Just as you wouldn’t pick the cheapest doctor to handle your heart surgery, you shouldn’t pick the cheapest attorney to handle your estate planning. Because, let’s face it, picking the cheapest lawyer could be the most expensive decision that you could make for your family!
The following is a list of Eight Must Haves that you should look for in your estate planning lawyer before choosing the right lawyer to handle your estate planning needs:
- The lawyer should practice exclusively in the area of Estate Planning and Estate Settlement. The law changes every year. You and your family need someone who keeps up with these changes for you.
- The lawyer should serve clients for a fixed, reasonable cost. Don’t get pushed around by lawyers who are anything less than crystal clear and 100% up-front regarding the fees required for the legal services to be rendered.
- The lawyer should work with a team of additional estate planning attorneys. Solo attorneys have no one they can collaborate with on your behalf. Benefit from a team of estate planning lawyers all of who have your family’s best interest in mind.
- Works with a national firm of estate planning attorneys. State and federal laws change annually. Work with an attorney who works in a law firm that has attorneys around the country keeping up with things for you and your family.
- Works with an attorney that guarantees professional and courteous service. You should work with a law firm that guarantees that if you don’t get the service that you expect, you get your payment back.
- Work with an attorney who explains things in an easy-to-understand format. This will give you peace of mind that your greatest family concerns are addressed properly.
- Use a law firm referred by – at least – hundred of others. Go to their website and see if hundreds or thousands of others have had great things to say about the law firm you select. There is no greater way to evaluate a law firm than by seeing what others say about their services.
- Work with an attorney who regularly speaks and writes about important estate planning topics. An attorney who routinely teaches others about estate planning is on top of, and well-versed, in addressing the estate protection needs of families like yours.