You might be wondering what type legal advice you can expect if your current goal is to hire an attorney to prepare your will. There are two types who deal with wills and estates. There are also people who work in this field but don’t necessarily have legal training. This is because most of what they do is part-time work. If you’re considering making a will, they can provide sound legal advice.
First, you need to understand what wills are. A will is essentially a document you create to designate which assets and financial accounts your loved ones will retain when you die. This may seem like a simple task, but some people have trouble figuring out their will. An experienced attorney can help you out here by making sure you get it right the first time.
You can choose an attorney that only works in the realm of estate planning or you can hire one that works with all aspects of the law. You should only hire an attorney to help you with limited liability. Ask your potential attorney how experienced they are with probate, trust property, or the entire probate process. Some attorneys work only with individuals or couples, while others handle all different types of estates. So make sure you get an attorney who can truly focus on what you need. An attorney who is more general may end up working with several different types of people or trusts, so it is important to consider how much you will need in your case.
If you plan to make your will yourself it is very important that you find an attorney that you can trust. Sometimes people try to use their family members or friends in this matter. This is often a bad idea. Because they lack the necessary knowledge, someone who is not experienced in estate planning won’t be able give you sound advice. An estate planning attorney with many years of experience can help you navigate this process and protect your minor children.
An hourly rate is also an important consideration when selecting an attorney to assist you with your wills. Many attorneys charge either a flat fee or an hourly fee. A flat fee covers one hour of legal assistance. An hourly rate is charged for the actual time your attorney spends with you. Look for an attorney who charges a reasonable rate per hour and is willing to help you with any issues that may arise during your case.
Another option is to look for an attorney in your area who can handle other types estate planning issues. Many times people end up having a few different trusts set up. These types of cases are best handled by an estate planning lawyer who is also experienced in these types of cases.
Although you should always ask questions of an attorney for wills prior to hiring them, it is important that you do not give out any personal information until they have been hired. Most people know what their heirs will need in case of their death. However, the IRS can only make a decision on the distribution of inheritance taxes based on what you tell them. If you don’t tell them who will get what after your death they may choose another beneficiary. This could lead to a tax situation that is unfavorable for you and the family.
When you are deciding whether you need an attorney for wills in your local area, take some time to research the law firm. Ask for references and recommendations from friends and family. Find out if the firm has won any lawsuits, especially those involving inheritance taxes. Find out how many clients the firm has represented in the past. Consider the amount of time the law firm has handled such cases and whether or not they have handled your particular sets of estate planning needs.