How Can I Find the Best Estate Planning Lawyer?

find the best estate planning lawyer

Looking for the best estate planning lawyer but not sure where to start? We’ve got you covered. Planning your estate is a significant decision, and finding the right lawyer to navigate the legal complexities can make all the difference.

Whether you’re just starting to think about your estate or need to update an existing plan, you will need to look for these ten qualities when searching for an attorney.

Here Are the 10 Qualities to Look for an Estate Planning Lawyer in Minnesota

1. Primary Focus in Estate Law

It is important to find a lawyer who practices primarily in estate law. While general practice attorneys may have a basic understanding of estate planning, an attorney focusing on this area of law will have a deeper knowledge and stay updated on the latest legal developments. Our firm, Safe Harbor Estate Law, exclusively focuses on estate planning and elder law, helping you secure your future and safeguard your legacy.

2. Customized Document Preparation

A trustworthy estate planning lawyer won’t just make adjustments to generic, pre-made legal documents. Instead, they will take the time to understand your unique circumstances, family dynamics, and goals. They will prepare customized documents that accurately reflect your wishes and ensure that they hold up in court.

3. Periodic Plan Review

As life progresses, circumstances change, and so do laws. An excellent estate planning lawyer will offer periodic reviews of your estate plan to ensure it remains up-to-date and aligned with your current situation. This service should be included as part of the planning fee.

4. Flexibility for Plan Changes

Life is unpredictable, and there may come a time when you need to modify your estate plan. It’s important to clarify with your lawyer how plan changes are handled. A reputable lawyer will guide you through the process and make necessary amendments to your plan as per your wishes. At Safe Harbor Estate Law, our plans grow with you. Our team will work with you to make sure your plan stays up-to-date and in line with your needs.

5. Assistance With Trust Funding

If you have a trust as part of your estate plan, it’s crucial to ensure that your assets are properly funded into the trust. A skilled estate planning lawyer will assist you in this process, providing guidance on how to transfer ownership of your assets to the trust. To reap the full rewards of your trust and steer clear of probate, this step is absolutely crucial.

6. Transparent Billing Process

Discussing the lawyer’s billing process is important to avoid any surprises down the line. Some estate planning lawyers work on a flat-fee basis, providing clarity and predictability in terms of costs. Others may charge for each communication or document. Understanding the billing structure upfront will help you plan your finances accordingly. Typically, at Safe Harbor Estate Law, we charge flat fees for estate planning, so you know the cost before you hire us.

7. Effective Communication

Clear communication with your estate planning lawyer is vital throughout the entire process. Inquire about their communication policy and frequency of updates. You want a lawyer who is responsive to your questions and concerns, keeping you informed about the progress of your estate plan.

8. Protection for Children and Grandchildren

If you have children or grandchildren, it’s essential to ensure their well-being and financial security in the event of your passing. Ask the lawyer about their process for including provisions in your estate plan that protect your children or grandchildren. If any special needs are involved, discuss how those needs will be addressed within the plan.

9. Comprehensive Planning for the Unexpected

A good estate planning lawyer will go beyond addressing death and taxes. They will help you plan for other potential risks that may arise during your lifetime, such as incapacity, aging, lawsuits, and divorce. By considering these factors, your estate plan can provide protection and peace of mind for you and your loved ones.

At Safe Harbor Estate Law, our Smooth Sailing System is an all-inclusive estate planning package that allows you to address all aspects of your financial future. Instead of piecing together your estate plans piece by piece, you get confidence knowing that your family’s future is secure.

10. Guidance for Future Decision Making

A reliable estate planning lawyer will not only focus on the present but will also provide guidance for future decisions. They can assist you with important matters like marriage planning, retirement strategies, saving for college, and buying insurance. With their expertise, you can make informed choices to secure your financial future.

Preparing For Your Consultation With An Estate Planning Firm

Preparing for your consultation with an estate planning firm is crucial for a productive meeting. Make a list of your questions, concerns, and goals regarding your estate plan. Consider any specific wishes or instructions you have for asset distribution. For our Life and Legacy Session at Safe Harbor Estate Law, we don’t require you to bring your financial statements and current will or trust, but you may if you like.

Being prepared will help you make the most of your time with the Client Relations Specialist at Safe Harbor Estate Law, and ensure that all relevant information is discussed. Our goal in the Life and Legacy session is to educate you and empower you to decide what is best for you and your loved ones.

To schedule your consultation, contact us today.

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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