Estate planning is a very personal matter, and you need an estate planning lawyer with plenty of experience and the right qualifications to create an estate plan that protects you, your loved ones, and everything you have worked so hard for. But most of all, you need someone that will listen.
Many people believe that an estate plan and a Last Will and Testament are the same. A will is a big part of the estate planning process, but it’s not all of it. It’s important to understand that a comprehensive estate plan helps you to structure your assets and dictate who should make decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so.
Why You Need an Estate Planning Lawyer
Not everyone needs an estate plan, though there are instances where you should consult an estate planning lawyer in NJ. Do you have dependents or minor children? You need to state how your assets should be managed and by whom, until the children come of age.
What happens if you become incapacitated? Who will make decisions on your behalf? Children don’t want to think a time might come when their parents are unable to make decisions about their own finances or health. A comprehensive estate plan will make your wishes clear and limit family disagreements.
Wouldn’t you rather give your money to your children than the government? A quality estate plan will protect your assets with a trust, if appropriate, which requires legal input.
What Qualities Should Your Estate Planning Attorney Have?
First and foremost, you’ll want to work with a reputable attorney known in the community for being trustworthy and honest. Every family has unique needs, and some estate plans can be complicated, so it is good to look for an estate planning lawyer with years of experience and access to a range of industry professionals, whether a CPA or real estate appraiser.
The attorney you choose to work with should be able to create a personalized estate plan after listening to your wants and desires. They should give you straight answers to your questions, making you feel informed, safe and empowered at all times. If there is confusion on your end, your lawyer should have no problem taking a little more time to explain the process more thoroughly. It’s essential to work with someone who is comfortable taking things at the pace you feel most comfortable.
Things to Avoid When Choosing an Estate Planning Lawyer
What should you avoid when choosing an estate planning lawyer? Don’t take the first name you find online as your attorney. Read online reviews about the lawyers in your area, view their websites, and ensure they are members of the appropriate bar associations.
Avoid signing a contract with an estate planning attorney without first speaking to them, either on the phone or in-person. Most reputable lawyers offer a free first consultation, which should give you a good idea of their character and values.