How To Choose An Estate Planning Attorney

In addition to this blog, there are hundreds of programs out there to help you in planning various parts of your estate.  However, estate planning is much more than filling in your name in a computer program and having a document printed on your computer. 

A rock solid estate plan requires having someone who knows each and every detail, roadblock, and hiccup, to support and guide you through each step of the way.  

If you’ve decided that now is the time to get your estate plans in order, you should be asking, “How do I choose an estate planning attorney?” 

To help you answer that question, we came up with this list of things you should consider when evaluating who you want to work with to set up your estate plan.

Ask Yourself if You Need an Estate Planning Attorney

The first question you should be asking yourself is: “Do I need an attorney to settle and organize my estate and financial assets or can I handle this on my own?”

This question can be answered by looking at the current state of your own assets and at where you plan to be in the future.  If you currently have limited assets, you may just want to set up a brief consultation with an estate planning attorney.  Many estate planning attorneys have close ties with financial advisors.

An estate plan has a lot of parts, even if it’s a plan for who should watch after your family should you have one, a good estate planning attorney will help you get things in order.


Create Lists

A simple Google search of estate planning attorneys will return dozens of local results.  So how do you differentiate between attorneys?

One great way to start from scratch is by making a list of what you want in an attorney.  You might want an attorney that is: experienced, knowledgeable about your current situation, has references, etc.  Whatever it is that’s important to you, put it on your list. Pick a couple of attorneys that you feel might be a good fit, and refer to your list when asking them questions, evaluating their blogs and materials, and deciding who you would rather work with.


In the end, you can work with any number of estate planning attorneys, you have a great deal of latitude because of this.  You might as well take the time to make a good decision, you may be working with this attorney for some time.

Checklist: Six Must Have Items in Any Estate Plan

Interview the Estate Planning Attorney over the Phone

A phone conversation will go a long way in helping to clear any doubts you may have regarding a specific estate planning attorney.  Before setting up a phone consultation, prepare a list of questions you have in mind so that nothing is left unasked or unanswered. A key factor here is to assess the quality and quantity of the time the attorney is able to provide you in answering your questions.  Are they able and willing to provide you answers that satisfy you?  And are they taking the time to understand your questions and needs?

Set up a Meeting

Whether you’re planning to go with a specific attorney already, or you’re still not sure who you want to work with, nothing beats a face to face discussion for evaluating who you want to work with. Like the phone conversation, you will want to prepare questions so that you make maximum use of your time.  You may also want to review the attorney’s website, blog, and even a YouTube channel so that you already have an impression of who they are prior to meeting with them.

Some estate planning attorneys offer incentives to actually set up a face to face meeting.  You should reach out to them and see how they prefer to do business.   Lastly, it goes without saying, you probably want to stay local!  While a nationwide firm might prepare 5000 plans a year, you’ll get much more direct and customized attention (as well as face time) with an estate planning attorney that specializes in the laws where you live.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

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