What should I look for in a good estate planning attorney?

Asked over 2 years ago - Orlando, FL

I'm beginning the process of shopping around, but don't know hot to tell if I've found a good one. Are there any awards or commendations I should be looking for to help me know?


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Attorney answers (6)

  1. Adam Troy Rauman

    Pro

    Contributor Level 14

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I'm not really sure how to answer your question. You asked it on a site that has attorneys rated based on a number of different criteria. I would perform a search on this site for an estate attorney in the city that in the best location for you, set-up a couple of appointments with different attorneys and chose an attorney you are comfortable with. Any attorney answering questions on this site should be capable of handling your issue.

    This answer is provided for informational purposes only, does not constitute legal advice, and does not create an... more
  2. James P. Frederick

    Contributor Level 20

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . The ability to listen to you and help you to understand how the law applies to your situation are far more important than most awards and commendations. The best attorney for YOU is the one that can clearly explain your options to you, seems comfortable and confident dealing with your questions, and is responsive to your needs. Ask people you trust for referrals to attorneys that THEY trust.

    I would also suggest that you look for an attorney whose practice is focused in the areas of estate planning and probate. Attorneys that claim to handle every kind of matter in the book are not as likely to be able to properly handle your estate planning.

    There are a number of ratings available for attorneys, including one that Avvo posts. But the most important factor is whether or not you feel like you can work with the person and that they can do the job correctly. There are some excellent estate planning attorneys in your area that are very active participants in the Avvo community. You should have excellent results with any one of them. It also does not hurt to meet with more than one attorney and see who you feel the most comfortable with.

    Best of luck to you!

    James Frederick

    *** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and... more
  3. Joseph Franklin Pippen Jr.

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I agree with interviewing several attorneys. I would ask the attorney what portion of their time is spent on estate planning and how many files they have completed.

    The answer given does not imply that an attorney-client relationship has been established and your best course of... more
  4. Kelly L. Wright

    Contributor Level 7

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . In Florida, attorneys can go through a board certification process to get certified in Wills, Trusts, and Probate law in order to call themselves a specialist in that area of law. In order to take the exam, attorneys have to have been in practice for a certain number of years, handled a certain number of probate matters, and take a very challenging exam in order to demonstrate knowledge of estate and gift taxes, probate and trust administration, general estate planning, and some litigation issues. You can search the Florida Bar website (floridabar.org) for board certified wills and trusts attorneys. That is a good place to start. If there is not one in your area that you feel comfortable with, then you should also look for an LLM designation in either tax or estate planning. An LLM is an additional law degree that shows that a lawyer has done at least one more year of additional study in tax or estate planning exclusively. That, in combination with years of practice, and how much of their practice is in estate planning, should help you find a knowledgeable and competent attorney.

    Legal Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on since... more
  5. Robert L Rutt

    Contributor Level 5

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I agree with all the other attorney answers. You may be best to set up a number of in person consultations to determine which attorney you feel you will be able to trust, have a good relationship with, and one that will give you all the attention you need when you have questions. Also, since circumstances in life may change at any time, or a law may change, you will need an attorney who will be able to give you immediate assistance in updating or changing your estate plan very quickly in order to provide you with the full protection under the law.

    This answer has been prepared for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. The... more
  6. Matthew Aaron Wiley

    Pro

    Contributor Level 10

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . I would look for an attorney who is knowledgeable about trust funding and i swilling to help you fund your Revocable Living Trust. Another good thing to look for is an attorney with a maintenance plan and a program where they will have annual meetings each year.

    To many attorneys hand you a document and that ends the relationship. You want an attorney that will make a solid plan for you and then help you put it in place and keep it running. Much like a car a good estate plan needs to have its oil changed regularly.

    Disclaimer: The foregoing answer does not constitute legal advice, is provided for informational and educational... more

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