No one likes to talk of life without a loved one, but the reality is that we’ll all experience this at some point when we have to broach the subject, no matter how hard it is. There are many reasons why you may want to get your affairs in order, whether because you’re at a certain age, are terminally ill, or just want peace of mind. Of course, you can tell people what your wishes are, but you don’t know whether they’ll be respected. One way to ensure this is by hiring a competent Estate Lawyer, so this article’s going to help you do this.
What Help Do You Need?
Before you approach an estate lawyer, think about the kind of help you need. This could make a difference in the type of lawyer you require and the costs you pay. As stated by https://freedomlaw.ca/, this is mainly due to how complex it will be to settle your affairs. For instance, if you have no property, but a lot of valuable possessions, whether monetary or sentimental, then you may be able to hire a general practitioner. However, if you own a number of properties, trust funds, offshore accounts, in addition to your possessions, it may be a good idea to hire an estate lawyer experienced in these areas.
What’s their Experience?
Estate planning can be a complex matter and can involve all manner of documentation. For instance, you may want to set up trust funds rather than give a large sum of money to someone at once. You may want to set aside a certain amount to give yearly to charity, or you may need help to draft a plan to avoid state taxes. Or you may even want to protect your beneficiaries’ creditors from getting their hands on the assets you bequeath them. This is all achieved in an estate plan that a good estate lawyer will suggest to you, based on the information you provide them. They will not only explain the suggested course of action, but they will also draft the necessary paperwork based on your decisions.
No need for Probate?!
Let’s explain this issue of probate. Estate planning is what you organize before you die, whereas Probate is what happens after you die to get your estate into order. It usually occurs when your affairs weren’t in order before your death, but any good estate lawyer will have a comprehensive estate plan in place to avoid this. Therefore, err on the side of caution if a lawyer seems unbothered or overly bothered about probate. Probate can swallow up around 10% of your estate that could otherwise be distributed amongst those you wish to give it to. It can also take years to sort out, so when in doubt avoid a lawyer that’s solely interested in writing up a will and probate, especially if you have assets that you wish to divide up.
Are They Recommended?
Obviously, seeing client reviews or testimonials is often the assurance you seek when it comes to looking into the best estate lawyer for your needs. You will more often than not find these online in various forums, where you’ll also be able to ask questions. Don’t forget, you can always look at the bar association’s website to find out information about them, or even from a financial advisor you trust. Always be cautious of slogans or straplines because they’re often there to draw people in. What you want to see is if an estate lawyer or firm can back up their marketing with action. That’s where you’ll see if they’re worth your money.
How do you Get On with Them?
After you’ve whittled down your list of estate lawyers, you’ll need to take the first steps to make contact with them. Maybe have two or three ready, so you can compare their responses. Have a list of questions ready to ask them and see how you get on. You’ll have a good idea of who knows their stuff and who you’ll be happy communicating with. During the estate planning process, you’ll need to be comfortable divulging personal details to give your estate lawyer the full picture. This is the only way they’ll truly be able to advise you properly and honor your intentions. If they’re transparent with their fees, willingly offer up extra information about the estate planning process, and break things down in a way you understand, without being patronizing or impatient, then you may be onto a winner.
At the end of the day, you want to know that when you’ve passed, your estate is distributed, as per your wishes. It’s the last thing that you can do for those you’re leaving behind, so it makes sense that your last wishes are carried through. Having a good estate lawyer do this for you means that no matter whether people disagree with what you want, they’ll be unable to do anything about it. This is because your wishes concerning your estate have been drawn up in accordance with the law by a good estate lawyer and are water-tight.