If you have decided that it is time to make an estate plan, you now have an important choice to make on who will be your estate planning attorney. Just as with any profession, there are differences among estate planning attorneys in terms of experience, specialization and even cost.
In many ways, the attorney that you select can have an impact on the quality and effectiveness of your estate plan, so it pays to do some research for this crucial planning process.
Here are a few questions to ask about any prospective attorney that may be recommended or otherwise comes to your attention:
This is an additional specialization that goes beyond the standard California bar membership and includes a written exam, a certain level of estate planning experience, continuing education and positive evaluations by other attorneys.
For example, if an attorney also has experience with business planning, taxation and elder care, they can offer a multifaceted legal service that addresses all family planning needs.
The attorney should have a clear plan of how to approach your estate plan, along with the documents needed and estimated time and cost of completion.
Referrals can be of great value and you can ask friends or colleagues for names of reputable attorneys, as well as noting those attorneys who may be frequent speakers for community groups.
Not everyone has the time or even ability to make multiple visits to an attorney’s office, and it is worth inquiring if they can meet elsewhere or during off-hours to accommodate your unique needs.
As your circumstances change, you may need to update your estate plan periodically, but you may not know if it is necessary. Your attorney should have a system for regular communication and ‘check ups’ to make sure everything is current.
If you would like to know more about the qualifications of the attorneys at Shoup Legal, A Professional Law Corporation, please contact us at 951-445-4114 or visit our website at www.ShoupLegal.com and we can answer any questions that you might have.