Estate planning takes a very special kind of attorney, one who knows the financial markets and trends, as well as how they apply to your particular situation. Though it can be tempting to draw up your own plans and goals, you would be wise to have a legal consultant to guide you along the way. Read here about what to look for in a good estate attorney.
Always get a lawyer’s history prior to signing up with their practice. The fact that a lawyer passed the bar does not by itself make him a good attorney. You must learn the record of the lawyer you’re looking at hiring.
Make it clear up front that you would like your legal fee agreement in writing from your lawyer. This will help you avoid the surprise of an unexpectedly high bill. Make sure that all expenses and fees are itemized, so that you’ll have a clear understanding of what exactly you are paying for.
Make sure your lawyer and you can meet in person to discuss the case regularly. It is unfortunately common for an attorney to take your case and then be too busy to actually see you. Set up a schedule to confirm that everything is under control.
If your lawyer tells you something, listen, but know you don’t have to act on it. If you are uncomfortable about something, you should not hesitate to say so. While your lawyer works for your best interest, they may have quite the case load.
Make sure you know how much you are going to spend before you hire a lawyer. Lawyers can be very expensive. Their hourly rates can break your budget before they even begin to help you. Make sure you know the costs upfront and if you cannot afford a particular lawyer, search for one that you can afford.
Any initial meeting or conversation with a lawyer should include four key questions that you ask them. Is the lawyer experienced in your specific type of situation? Do they charge flat rates or hourly fees? How much do they estimate the total cost will be? How long will this take to fully resolve?
Make a note of how long it takes a lawyer to schedule your first meeting. If it takes weeks to even see the lawyer for the first time, the lawyer may be too busy to give you proper service. You want a lawyer who puts you high on his list of priorities.
Stay away from lawyers who assure you that your case is a sure thing. If the lawyer thinks your case can’t be lost, he isn’t thinking realistically. The law is something that isn’t always easy to follow, and it’s important to hire a lawyer that can consider every fact while looking for certain issues. Be smart about your choice.
Preparation is the key when planning to meet with your lawyer. Their rates are hourly. You will have to pay for everything, from their advice to paperwork to any calls they need to make. You can reduce the cost of meeting with your lawyer if you prepare everything you need to talk about in advance and make sure all your paperwork is ready.
Do not select the first lawyer you see in the yellow pages or directory search. Find a lawyer that fits your needs and is right for your claim. Avoid ambulance chasers. They do not have your best interests in mind and are not concerned with winning the case for your needs.
Now that you understand more about how estate planning works and how an attorney can help, you can move forward with a well-informed plan. Seek referrals, do your research and get your new attorney on board as soon as you can.It is never too late to plan your future.