Having an estate plan is a critical part of protecting your family and ensuring that your wishes are carried out. If you don’t have an estate plan in place, you risk leaving your loved ones having to make tough decisions without the financial support they need.
Estate planning is not a one-time process; it’s an evolving task you should revisit every few years to ensure that your wishes are being followed and updated. Therefore, it is essential to work with a seasoned estate planning lawyer to help you create a plan that meets your needs and goals.
What is an Estate Planning Lawyer?
An estate planning lawyer is an attorney who specializes in helping people create legal documents that will assist in managing their assets after they die. These legal documents include wills, trusts, powers of attorneys, health care directives, living wills, and advance directives.
Estate planning lawyers can help you write up a will or trust document that reflects your current situation. They can also assist you if you’re considering revising your existing documents. Once you pass away, your estate planning documents will be used by your executor to distribute your property according to your instructions.
If there is any dispute over a deceased’s estate, an estate planning attorney can also represent their client in probate court to resolve the situation.
It’s essential to find someone who has experience with this type of law so that you can be confident that everything will go according to plan. You want to ensure that all of your assets are protected and that your family knows how to access them when needed.
Estate planning requires the help of a skilled attorney to make sure that your plan is executed and your final wishes are properly carried out.
Here are some tips on what you should look for when selecting an estate planning attorney in Austin, TX:
Get a Reference from Friends or Family
Recommendations from friends and family are often the best way to choose an attorney. They know you well enough to give you honest feedback about their experiences with the estate law attorneys they’ve worked with and if they would do it again. Ask them if they would recommend the attorney to others.
Someone you know can provide good insight into whether or not the lawyer will be right for you. Knowing someone that has already been through a similar process as you might even make you feel better about it. This will increase your confidence in working with an attorney and improve your chances of having a productive relationship.
The more references you receive, the better off you’ll be when making your decision.
However, while references are excellent, they won’t always tell you everything there is to know about an attorney. In addition to asking if they would recommend an attorney, ask those same folks more specific question about their style of work.
Were they able to understand the details of your situation in a timely manner? How did they handle the various aspects of your case? Did they seem thorough? How did they communicate with you? Did they offer you advice and listen to your concerns?
This information will help you determine whether or not the attorney is right for you.
An attorney who is well-versed in the state laws of your location will be much more knowledgeable than an attorney who practices across multiple states.
Estate planning laws differ from state to state, so finding an attorney who specializes in the area where you live means you will get the most accurate advice possible. Furthermore, they can understand the nuances of your local probate court and the laws that apply to your particular circumstances.
You also want to ensure that the attorney is up to date with both state and federal laws. Additionally, the attorney should be familiar with any new local legislation and regulations impacting your estate plan.
Ask About Their Experience
When choosing an attorney, you want to ensure that they have plenty of experience. You don’t want an inexperienced new attorney taking over your case.
You need someone who understands complex areas of the law and has dealt with other clients in a similar position. Your attorney should also be willing to work with you through each step until things are finalized.
The process of estate planning can take months or even years to complete. You need to find an attorney committed to helping you throughout this entire process.
Estate Planning Specialization
When selecting a lawyer, you should ensure that the lawyer practices estate planning specifically, not just general law. The benefit to this is that the attorney will be abreast of the distinct issues related to the estate planning process, which means they will be able to offer you sound legal advice.
Also, the lawyer will be able to identify areas for improvement and suggest solutions to problems before they arise. Moreover, they can help you develop an estate plan tailored to your particular situation.
If the attorney isn’t focused on estate planning, they may lack the experience necessary to advise you regarding your specific needs. Be sure to ask if the attorney has handled cases like yours before.
Check State Bar Association
To ascertain that the attorney has met certain qualifications, check out the state bar association’s website. There you will find information about each member’s background and education.
Going further, you can search by name to see if any complaints have been filed against the attorney. A complaint is filed when someone feels that the attorney has violated their rights or not done their due diligence.
A complaint does not mean that the attorney is guilty of wrongdoing; however, it will give you some indication of the attorney’s reputation.
The attorney’s record will give you a good idea of what kind of lawyer they are. If you need an attorney, check the state bar association and cross-search with other internet sources to see what comes up.
Another way to ensure that you will be getting quality legal advice is to look into whether or not the attorney is board certified. Board certification is granted only after passing rigorous tests administered by the Board of Legal Specialization. Only attorneys who pass these tests can call themselves “board certified.”
This designation indicates that the estate planning attorney has demonstrated proficiency in various areas of law. Moreover, it shows that the attorney has taken courses for continuing education and passed examinations that test their knowledge of the particular area of law.
This is important because the attorney has had extensive training and practice. As a result, they know how to handle different types of situations and can provide you with reliable legal advice.
Malpractice insurance is an insurance policy that provides legal protection against claims arising out of professional negligence.
You should never hire an attorney who does not have malpractice insurance. This protects both you and the attorney from financial loss due to mistakes made during the case. It also ensures that the attorney will be held accountable for their actions. In other words, if something goes wrong, the attorney will pay for it.
When it comes to hiring an attorney, cost is most likely a major factor. Understand each attorney’s fees upfront so that you can make an informed decision. The price depends on several factors, including the type of service needed, the length of time required, and the geographic area where the services are being provided.
Ask your potential attorney about their fees before making a decision. Some lawyers charge hourly rates, while others bill based on services provided.
Typically, when you meet with an estate planning attorney, they will set out their rates right away. They may even offer to do a free consultation to decide whether or not you want them to represent you. If you choose to retain the attorney, make sure you understand all charges before signing any agreement.
Even if overall fees are high, you may be sure that your family and estate will benefit from the work done by your attorney. A good estate planning attorney can help protect your assets and minimize estate taxes. They can also help plan for your future needs such as retirement plans, medical care, and long-term care.
Once you’ve established an attorney-client relationship, you should receive regular updates regarding your case. Your lawyer should keep you informed about what is going on in your case and when the status changes.
Reach Out to Kelly Legal Group
Kelly Legal Group is one of the best law firms for estate planning. With over a decade of experience in the field, we know the nooks and crannies of the legal system in Ausin, TX. We’ve handled thousands of cases, and our clients’ success rate speaks volumes.
Our estate planning attorneys have helped many people create customized plans that fit their unique circumstances. If you’re looking for someone who can guide you through creating a comprehensive estate plan, contact us today!
We believe that every client deserves a lawyer who takes the time to listen to their concerns and explain the options available to them. Therefore, we are committed to providing quality legal representation at reasonable rates.
Our lawyers at Kelly Legal Group are not only experienced, but are also board-certified in estate planning laws. Our Texas estate planning attorney has been handling complex matters involving trusts, wills, probate process, property transfers, business succession, asset protection, elder law, tax issues, and more.
We are dedicated to helping people like you. If you would like to learn more about how we can assist you, don’t hesitate to contact our law firm today.
We provide a free consultation to discuss your situation and answer any questions you might have. Call us at (512) 505-0053 to get started.