Finding a good estate planning attorney can be quite daunting. Most people simply don’t have the experience of dealing with this topic, so finding a professional can be tough. What’s more, estate planning is a niche legal topic and there are few professionals who are active in this area. However, there are some good tips that can help you find the best estate planning attorneys near you. Here’s a shortlist of the best resources for locating and finding the best trusts and estates law firms in your area. Let’s start:
Ask Your Financial Advisor For More Information And Referrals
Usually, estate planning goes hand in hand with wealth management services, so your financial advisor can be a great resource for information about the right lawyer for you. Financial planning and estate planning should work closely together in order to give you the best alternatives and solutions for your personal needs. Ideally, your financial advisor should put you in contact with an estate planning attorney that can work with you and guide you through the complex process of estate law. Make sure you ask your financial advisor for more tips on how to find the best estate planning attorneys for your needs.
Ask Your Accountant
Similarly, accountants often come into contact with estate planning attorneys. They can help you a lot when you are looking for an estate planning attorney. Most accountants know of a good estate attorney who can help you make a good estate plan and guide you through this important process. Keep in mind that accountants have access to their clients’ financial information and family situation, so they can also offer great advice when it comes to estate planning. Ideally, your accountant should work together with your estate planning attorney – this will guarantee you that you get the best results for your needs and specific situation. Ask your accountant for more information about estate planning and what they can do for you. They may have the right answer for you!
Ask Other Attorneys
Lawyers know other lawyers, and they can help you find what you are looking for easily. For instance, a lawyer that you already worked with on a different case, one you already know, can give you some advice on who to choose and where to look in order to find the right professional for you.
Lawyers have an extensive network of colleagues, partners and know a lot of other legal professionals, so you are very likely to find someone who can help you. Also, lawyers are happy to refer their clients to other lawyers who may specialize in estate planning.
Another good idea is to ask your lawyer about the legal professional that did their estate planning. This is a good idea because lawyers avoid creating their own real estate plans. The old saying “He who represents himself has a fool for a client” seems to hold true, especially when it comes to estate planning. There’s a good chance that your lawyer will be happy to refer you to the best estate planning attorneys money can buy.
Contact Your State Or Local Bar Association
As you probably already know, every state has its separate Bar Association which is the professional organization that regulates the activity of attorneys and other legal professionals. Major cities may also have smaller Bar Associations. What’s more, there are many other legal organizations that maintain a list of attorneys that can help you. Ask these professional organizations for help and guidance. Go to their websites and look for the best trusts and estates law firms; also, ask for referrals on the phone. There are endless opportunities to find the right attorney – you just have to be active and reach out to these organizations.
Law firms are surprisingly active online and in the media. Their ads are easy to find and visible on most search engines, social media, and other important online platforms. Some lawyers are also visible in print media, radio or TV. The states have strict rules when it comes to attorney advertising, so the ads will be professional and highly regulated. You won’t see any more of those weird and downright ridiculous ads that were once popular. Lawyers are not allowed to make wild promises, claims or advertise unattainable results. You can really choose a great estate planning attorney if you pay attention to advertisements.
Ask Your Local Probate Court
If you don’t have any success with the methods explained above, you should go directly to the source – where the estate planning attorneys work. The probate court is one of the places that are very frequented by these legal professionals because that’s their main work area. While going directly to the probate court in order to find a good estate planning attorney might be a good idea, it may not work in larger cities. Some people feel uneasy talking about this topic. In smaller cities, however, clerks and judges might be more open to the general population and would love to refer clients to local estate planning attorneys. Most local estate planning attorneys will accept these referrals as it is considered an excellent complement.
Don’t Limit Your Search By Geography
While your attorney definitely has to be licensed in your state, you should not focus only on attorneys that are active in your city. You may find some of the best trusts and estates law firms in other areas of the state – don’t concern yourself with geography. You can find a good attorney even in smaller cities or in different areas of the state. Just because you don’t find one in your city, it doesn’t mean there are no estate planning attorneys to choose from. Sometimes, you need to go a little farther before you find what you are looking for.
Hopefully, these tips provided some actionable plans for you to start the estate planning process. Finding the right attorney is the fundamental first step but by following these steps, you should find the perfect legal professional for your case.