Suffering a death in the family is never an easy time to overcome. Deaths get much more complicated when your family is struggling to manage your affairs without your input. Even if you don’t have a lot of assets, your family still needs guidance that you can provide through a quality estate plan.
This blog post briefly discusses why estate plans are important and some tips to help you find an estate lawyer.
1. Why Do You Need An Estate Plan?
Having an estate plan makes things incredibly easier for your family in the event that you can no longer advocate for yourself. The most common blunder people make is thinking they don’t need an estate plan because they don’t have lots of assets. In addition to allocating your assets, having an estate plan is also important for appointing people to take care of you in case you cannot take care of yourself.
Giving people Power of Attorney, Medical Authorization, and Advance Directive makes it easy for your family to take care of you during crisis situations. Planning for your estate goes beyond what you have in financials. Knowing who’s in charge during worst-case scenarios significantly reduces stress and confusion in your family.
2. Look At Their Communication Skills
Communication is an essential part of working with an estate lawyer. During the estate planning process, there are tons of documents to sign and communication is key to successfully completing the process. Dealing with a lawyer that drags their feet makes the estate planning process long and arduous. How your estate lawyer communicates with you is one of the most important elements that will factor into your decision.
When consulting with different estate lawyers, ask questions such as how long the planning will take and if it’s possible to avoid the probate process. Lawyers that drag their feet love probate since it’s expensive and time-consuming. It’s also important to ask potential lawyers if they offer a regular updating and maintenance program. Any time there are changes in your life or to laws that affect you, it’s important to update your estate plans. Some attorney’s charge full price for changes to your will but others may offer semi-annual reviews for a small fee.
3. Find Out How Often You Can Update Your Will
As previously mentioned, some law firms charge full price for simple updates to your will and estate documents. After understanding how much it costs to prepare your will, make sure you find out if you have the power to make changes.
Anytime there’s a change in your finances, or you change your mind about the distribution of your estate, your will should be updated to reflect your new decisions. Life is unpredictable and sudden changes in your life may make it necessary to update your will. Before making a final decision on an estate lawyer, find out the limitations around making changes to your will.
4. Ask Potential Estate Lawyers Difficult Questions
Estate planning requires you to ask yourself difficult questions you may not initially know the answer to. Although the final decision is up to you, quality estate lawyers can provide guidance based on years of expertise that makes decision making an easier task. When consulting with different estate lawyers, feel them out by asking tough questions.
The way your lawyer answers questions such as how do I appoint someone to make decisions for me if I’m no longer able or should I put my children on my bank accounts will let you know what type of lawyer you’re dealing with. It’s important to ask multiple lawyers the same questions so you can compare their answers.