As an attorney, but more importantly as a business owner, I feel we have a moral obligation to the community to educate the fellow members of the community so that they can become as informed as possible when it comes to making the correct decisions when purchasing a product or service. Therefore, I have decided to provide the following list on important questions every Tennessee resident should ask an Estate Planning Attorney when they meet with him or her regarding their estate planning during the first meeting.
1. How Many Areas of Law Do You Practice In?
It is important to know the answer to this question. Estate and Probate laws are complex. You select the lawyer that constantly keeps themselves up to date on all the various estate planning and tax law changes that occur in this complex field. Choosing the lawyer that practices in 5, 6, 7, or 8 or more different practice areas may not be the best lawyer to plan the estate for your family.
2. How Much Does It Cost?
After the first meeting, the lawyer should be able to answer this question in a direct fashion. You should never pick an attorney or law firm to handle any legal matter that is anything other than completely crystal clear about the financial arrangements involved.
3. How Many Other Families Have You Helped Similar To Our Situation?
You should always pick an attorney and law firm that has client testimonials from many of their previous satisfied clients.
4. How Many Lawyers Are In Your Firm?
This is an important question. It is always a good idea to work with the law firm that has several other estate planning lawyers, practicing in multiple states, as those attorneys can bounce ideas off of one another when it comes to specific estate planning situations.
5. Are You Published on Estate Planning Topics and/or Provide Any Presentations on Estate Planning Throughout the Year?
You should never work with an attorney that isn't well versed in the various estate, probate, and tax laws that affect your estate planning. A good way to ensure that you work with an extremely knowledgeable and experienced estate planning attorney, is to seek out their published work on estate planning and/or attend any presntation that he or she may be giving on estate planning.
If you have questions about estate planning, please feel free to call or e-mail us with your question. As always, we are here to help!
Daniel A. Perry