What to Ask Before Hiring an Estate Planning Firm

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Why an Attorney Who Specializes in Estate Planning is Important

If you’re looking for an attorney to help you with your estate planning, don’t just go with the first option you see. Make sure you’re looking for an attorney who is skilled in estate planning and will listen to you to identify your needs and put them first.

Safe Harbor Estate Law specializes in estate planning. We know the ins and outs of the complicated process, and we’re here to provide you with the best service possible. Our clients love our approach, and you will, too.

What You’ll Learn From This Video

  • The best questions to ask a law firm for your estate planning needs.
  • Why customized documents are important for your planning.
  • How the complicated nature of estate planning makes having a skilled estate planning attorney essential!


Margaret Barrett: If you are watching this video, you are wondering what questions to ask a law firm to decide if you should hire them to prepare your estate plan. You may have never had this conversation before. You may be wondering what to ask, what if I ask a stupid question, or even worse, what if I hire the wrong firm and regret it later?

You are not alone. A lot of people feel this way before calling our office, and we understand. This is one of the reasons that people understandably put off even doing an estate plan. We are here to help you, and today I have three more questions for you to ask a law firm to see if you want to hire them to do your estate plan.

The first question to ask an estate planning law firm is, will you prepare customized documents for me? You want a firm that will take the time to listen, to understand your circumstances, your relationships, and your goals. One that will ask questions and listen to you, and take time to explain options, the pros and cons of those options, to educate and empower you to make the best decisions for your plan. You do not want an attorney who takes a cookie cutter approach, and slightly modifies forms, and does not take the time to explain all the options to you. You should leave your meeting with the attorney feeling like, “This is more complicated than I thought,” because it is.

The second question to ask an estate planning law firm is, once my documents are all done and signed, will you help me to title my assets and name my beneficiaries so my assets are coordinated with my estate plan? This is something most people don’t know about. Your documents could be perfect, but your assets, if they aren’t titled right, or if the beneficiaries aren’t right, could undermine your whole plan. Your assets might not even go into your will and trust the way you want them to. We make sure to help you with this critical step. We provide you with written instructions, we coach you and answer questions, and we do our part and equip you to do your part, because we want to help you make sure that your assets don’t undermine your plan.

The third question to ask an estate planning law firm is, what can I expect if I hire you? What’s the process, what’s the timing, and what’s the cost? These are fair questions. At our firm, we provide you with this information in the first meeting. Here’s a diagram of our smooth sailing system process. We give you all the details so that you know what is happening every step of the way. We also provide you with the cost in writing before you hire us, and we have a team available to assist you throughout the process.

If you find these three questions helpful, we have prepared a list of 10 questions that you should ask an estate planning law firm before you hire them. Use the link below to download it.

Author Bio

Margaret Barrett is the Founder and Owner of Safe Harbor Estate Law, a Saint Paul, MN, estate planning law firm she founded in 2013. With almost 15 years of combined experience in litigation and Minnesota estate law, she is dedicated to representing clients in a wide range of estate law matters. Her practice areas include estate planning, asset protection, elder law, and more.

Margaret received her Juris Doctor from the William Mitchell College of Law and is a member of the Minnesota State Bar Association and the Ramsey County Bar Association.

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