Before you decide to hire ANY attorney to help get your estate planning affairs in order, make sure to ask them the following questions:
1. After you complete my estate plan, what happens next? Will I ever hear from you again?
You want to make sure you understand how your attorney views estate planning. Sadly, some attorneys simply view their role as a facilitator of a one-time transaction. You give them money, and they give you some pieces of paper with words on them. The end.
Run away from that lawyer as fast as you can! Estate planning, trust, probate, tax, and inheritance laws change constantly. New strategies come along that were not available many years ago. Life changes as well. People are born, get married, get divorced, grow older, become ill, and pass away. What may be appropriate for your family 20 years ago may not make sense now. Make sure you work with an attorney who views this as a life-long relationship. Also, ask your attorney about his or her review program to make sure there is a structure in place for regular “check-ups”.
2. What percentage of your practice is estate planning and estate settlement?