by Irina S. Shea, Attorney at Law, LLC
The Charles Schwab website suggests three main steps to choosing the right estate planning attorney for you.
- Look for a recommendation if you don't already have an estate planning attorney. Ask a referral source such as a financial advisor, an accountant, friends, or family for whom they recommend. A financial planner referral is likely the best source since they know your family and finances best. If you are not working with a financial planner, the next best thing would be to search for great reviews from other clients.
- Charles Schwab also suggests asking the following questions of any potential estate planning attorney:
- Have you practiced a state planning law for at least five years? Yes, since 1996.
- Is at least 75% of your practice devoted to estate planning? Yes.
- Are you certified in estate planning? Yes, as an Accredited Estate Planner® and Certified Elder Law Attorney®.
- Do you carry professional liability insurance? Yes.
- Do you offer a free initial consultation to discuss my needs? Yes.
- Do you bill on a fee for service or an hourly basis? Flat fee for service.
- Charles Schwab suggests that the client prepare as much as possible for their first meeting with the estate planning attorney by answering the following questions: who will inherit your assets, who will take care of your minor children, and who will manage your own financial affairs if you are incapacitated? Our estate planning worksheet covers these questions and is completed by clients before the first initial consultation.