One of the greatest problems with estate planning lies in the fact that you have to take the worst-case scenario (your own death) as the starting premise. This is not something that a lot of people are comfortable with, yet, those who have the wellbeing of the next generation in their mind can’t afford to overlook this important issue. Needless to say, this is a field that requires a lot of legal and technical prowess, which is why you shouldn’t even attempt to tackle this issue without a good estate planning attorney. Here are several tips that should help you recognize one.
1. What’s their previous experience?
The first thing you need to inquire is the previous experience of the estate planning attorney that you intend to hire. Keep in mind that qualitative experience matters more than quantitative one. This means that you have to look for someone who has dealt with a scenario that’s similar to that of your own, regardless of whether this is related to trusts or estates. Moreover, no matter how talented and promising they may be, it’s fairly risky to entrust this to someone who has less than several years of experience in the field.
2. Cooperation and communication
Regardless of the fact that you have no real experience in this field, it’s vital that you remain informed of everything, as well as that you have the final say in the matter. This is why it’s important that you find someone who will send you all the estate planning documentation to review. Keep in mind that miscommunication in this scenario isn’t something that you can afford.
Remember that this is something that can happen even to the most experienced estate planning attorney, which is why you need to insist on cooperation and communication from day one. For this reason, you need someone that you can address every time you have a concern. In other words, you need someone who’s nearby, someone you can arrange a face-to-face meeting with, should you feel the need to do so. If you’re based in NSW, looking for estate lawyers in Sydney would, therefore, be a smart idea.
3. Making your will ironclad
One of the greatest concerns that most people have when organizing their estate and composing their will is the probability that, in the future, it will be disputed or contested. This is particularly troublesome due to the fact that, at that point, you’ll no longer be able to affect the outcome of this scenario. The easiest way to avoid this is to consider the wishes and agendas of all people affected by your will. While it’s true that you might not be able to remember all of this in time, a veteran estate planning attorney could push you in the right direction and point out some of the most common issues.
4. Look for a referral
As always, a word of mouth (WOM) referral is the best possible course of action for you to take. This means that you need to look for someone you know and trust, who had previous dealing with a similar scenario and ask them to recommend someone. At the very least, you should be able to find recommendations and referrals online. While this may not be as reliable, due to the fact that it was left by strangers online, it still provides you with at least a bit of assurance.
Even though we may have started off on a pessimistic note, keep in mind that this isn’t really an issue that requires such urgency. Moreover, due to the fact that it’s something incredibly important, it’s best not to rush it until you’ve examined the situation from all angles and, when it comes to this, the above-listed four tips should come in handy.