“Searching for a lawyer who can help you put together a good estate plan, may seem like a daunting task. However, with a little help, you should be able to find several qualified lawyers to choose from.”
Finding an estate planning attorney who can help you create an estate plan that works for your family, is an important first step in creating an estate plan. You’ll want someone you are comfortable with, who is respected by other professionals and will be able to help your loved ones during emotional times. An article from The Balance, “Tips for Finding an Estate Planning Attorney,” offers some useful pointers.
Ask your accountant. Many estate planning attorneys work closely with accountants to address tax issues. Your accountant should know a few estate planning attorneys that they work on a regular basis. They are likely to need to coordinate some issues, so a good working relationship between the two is a plus.
Ask another attorney. If you have retained attorneys in setting up a business, buying a home or reviewing a contract, ask that attorney who they use for estate planning. You should also ask about client referrals. Attorneys in other practice areas recognize that their knowledge about business law or real estate law, does not give them the same training and skill set of an estate planning attorney.
Ask your financial advisor. Many financial advisors consider estate planning a critical part of their client’s overall financial plan. Most have a handful of estate planning attorneys for referral. If your financial advisor has not asked if you have a will, they are missing an important task of their job—looking out for all aspects of your life, not just your investments. Go ahead and ask the financial advisor who prepared their own estate plan.
Contact the local probate court. This isn’t for everyone, especially if you live in a large city. However, in a smaller community, the town clerk knows most of the attorneys and those that are well-liked by judges. Practicing in a small town is different than in a big city. Therefore, attorneys who work well with others, may be more effective in certain matters.
Visit the attorney’s website. You want to make sure they have the right credentials, that they focus in estate planning and that they share your values.
Maybe the best tip of all: Make an appointment. When you sit down with a Cincinnati estate planning attorney and have a face-to-face conversation, you’ll really know if they are the right fit for you and your family.
Remember: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” When making your estate plan or when probating an estate or administering a trust, do not go it alone. Be sure to engage a Cincinnati estate planning attorney.
For more information about estate planning, probate or trust administration in Cincinnati (and throughout the rest of Southwest Ohio) and to review free resources regarding estate planning, probate or trust administration, visit my website. If you have questions regarding this article or a particular legal matter, feel free to contact me at 513-399-PLAN (7526).
Resource: The Balance (July 31, 2018) “Tips for Finding an Estate Planning Attorney”