Estate planning is an important step to secure your loved ones. After your death, you will dent your spouse or kids to face financial hardships and hence need to choose the best Oakland estate planning lawyer in town to complete the task of preparing an estate plan. To find a lawyer is easy, but to get the best one is challenging. Your decision should not be based on advertising alone, you must ask some questions to the estate lawyer to get the best one.
Here are some tips to help you choose some questions to the estate lawyer. A qualified and experienced estate lawyer will never hesitate to answer your questions.
- Ask about the experience: Ask the lawyer about their experience in dealing with the estates and trusts? Some lawyers do not have a lot of experience whereas some have a lot of experience. One who has more than three of experience should be shortlisted.
- Ask about the time it will take to complete your estate planning project: A good estate planning attorney will always tell you about the time it will take to complete the estate planning project. The attorney will also explain what he will do and how things will move forward.
- Ask about the estate planning documentation which you can review: A known attorney will always send the document to the client for review and even if you are working with the most qualified or experienced attorney, he or she will always send the estate planning documents for review. It is to make sure that everything you planned for is stated in the papers or not. There is a possibility of miscommunication, so confirm things twice with the attorney and how willing is the attorney to support you will allow you to take things forward.
- Funding of assets in a revocable living trust: Every attorney will not help you in finding the trust. Assets should be entitled in your name while you are alive.
- Formal updating of documents and maintenance program. Every year the documents of estate plan should be reviewed. It is a necessity as some changes can come in business and family. You may need a semi-annual review or yearly review. It also depends on the changes in law and taxes apart from your life and business. The necessary adjustments need to be made. A good Estate attorney offer this service at a very nominal price.
- Quoting a fixed price after the review of estate planning project: This answer should be a yes because if an estate planning lawyer is charging you by the hour then it is not really acting in your best interest. If you know the charges are hourly, it may not make you feel comfortable. Some attorneys may also change from a fixed rate to an hourly rate once some amount of work is completed. Make sure to ask this so you do not get unpleasant surprises at the end.
- Possibilities during unexpected situations: Most of the estate planning attorneys will make themselves available and it is all about how they respond. Some can say no and some may be willing to help extra. You definitely don’t want a cold reply. You need someone to reply tactfully and make you feel comfortable.
- Who gets in touch if the attorney is there and something urgent arises: Someone from the office of attorney will always be there to help you in time of need or during an unexpected situation even if the attorney is not there. Well, most attorneys are available, but see how the attorney responds to this question. Either the attorney will always be available or he will tell about whom to contact during his absence.
- How to void probate process: This is an important question to ask. If an attorney is genuine he will guide you toward the living trust. It means the attorney has good intentions. However, if the attorney guides you toward a will or probate then it means the attorney is more focused on his income rather than the planning of your estate. Probate is a time consuming and an expensive process. It can cost 2 billion yearly and with this, the fee of the attorney can be 1.5 billion each year.
There are many other questions which you can ask the lawyer. These are a few to help you find the best in Oakland. The needs of every individual are different and so can be yours. This can work as a guide for you, but you should add your own questions to ask the attorney and hence choose the most qualified one to assist you in estate planning.