Will planning and estate planning are not something that most of us think about on a day to day basis. In fact, you usually only work with lawyers dealing with wills and estates during times of tragedy, struggle, or loss. So, it makes sense that understanding them, how they work, and how to deal with them is not a top priority.
Be that as it may, most people understand they are still important to handle before you need them. Without a properly organized will or estate plan, loved ones left behind by a loss can also have a lot of trouble to deal with in sorting out the inheritance.
Whether wills and estates are on your mind for yourself or somebody close to you, finding the best lawyers dealing with wills and estates is the way to go. Unless you are a lawyer yourself, it is unlikely you have the appropriate understanding or ability to set up an estate plan that will function the way you desire.
How to find reputable lawyers dealing with wills and estates
Lawyers dealing with wills and estates won’t hide from you. They want you to find them. A simple search on Google will bring up plenty of results for your area, and you should notice plenty of paid advertisements along with your search results.
Still, that can be a roll of the dice since you won’t necessarily want to work with whoever shows up on a webpage. There’s no trust there.
How can you be more confident in the lawyers you’ll find, feel you can trust them, and be comfortable working with them?
Your best connections to these lawyers are always the people you already know. Nobody talks about working with wills and estates, but everybody deals with the unfortunate necessity. So, ask around.
Preferably, ask your friends and family members who they have dealt with. Many families like to work with the same attorney for these situations, and there is a chance that somebody in your family has already developed a relationship with an attorney.
Understand what top lawyers dealing with wills and estates can help you with
There is a range of things that an estate planning attorney can help you with. This list includes, but is not limited to:
- Creating your will or estate
- Designating beneficiaries appropriately
- Creating trusts to protect assets
- Strategizing to reduce estate taxes
An attorney may work on a flat fee or an hourly basis depending on the work they are doing for you.
For an initial meeting, most of the appointment will be focused on learning about you and your family to clarify your needs. Depending on the family relationships and property being designated to beneficiaries, the needs can differ from one case to another.
Small things can have a significant impact on how assets are distributed, too. Even the smallest sign of friction between family members can become a great strain when dealing with the distribution of a deceased loved one’s estate. More than anything, having a lawyer create your will or estate plan the right way saves a lot of time, money, and stress when that time comes.
Will you hire a lawyer to handle estate planning, or is it a process you will undertake yourself?