Estate Planning Lawyer Who Work Close to the Probate Executor Heir.
Hiring an estate planning lawyer is an essential part of the estate planning process. It is important to work with an attorney who understands your needs and will help you plan for distribution of assets upon your death. While it is important to retain the services of a qualified estate planning lawyer, it is just as important to work with someone whose personality is similar to yours.
Recently, an associate of mine hired an estate planning lawyer to assist with her terminally-ill mother's estate. The lawyer was referred through the estate planning services offered through her mother's credit union. There was considerable family strife and the mother chose to disinherit one of her two sons.
My associate did not have time to interview multiple estate planning lawyers. Instead, she was left to work with a man who did not know anything about her mother, their family dynamics or the way she intended to have her estate arranged.
To make matters worse, the credit union closed their estate planning section due to budget cuts. No one informed the client of this change and it was only discovered after she passed away. Needless to say, it created tremendous turmoil for my associate who was acting as the probate executor.
The icing on the cake is my associate lived out of state. She met with the estate planning lawyer two days before returning to her home state. During their meeting, she realized he did not have a clue about her mother's estate. He expressed no condolences over the loss of her mother and had no interest in the family discord. He was unable to offer any advice on how to protect her mother's assets in the event her disinherited brother would contest the Will.
In the end, my client handled the estate on her own. Fortunately, she was well-versed in estate planning for small estates and engaged in measures to avoid probate. This included assigning Transfer-on-Death beneficiaries to automobiles and Payable-on-Death beneficiaries to bank accounts and financial holdings. It is important to realize few people can master this task on their own; nor is it advised.
As you can see, things can go terribly wrong when the wrong estate planning lawyer handles your estate. Many complications can arise when estate planning is handled is the final weeks of a person's life.
This is of particular importance to people with dysfunctional families. If estate planning is conducted during the final weeks, the disinherited heir can contest the Will by claiming the decedent was not of sound mind. If the disinherited heir contests the Will, it can tie-up the estate for years and end up costing the estate money.
Planning your estate while you are in good health is the best thing you can do for yourself and your family. Hiring an appropriate estate planning lawyer ensures your wishes will be met in the event of your death. It also eliminates a tremendous amount of stress from your designated estate administrator.
Estate planning lawyers can be found in your local telephone directory, the American Bar Association and through lawyer referral networks. Take time to interview a minimum of four attorneys before making your final selection. Ask for referrals and make contact to determine how the clients liked their service. Last, but not least, ask friends and relatives for estate planning lawyer referrals.