Finding an estate lawyer is a very critical task and very important at the same time. There may be too many estate planning lawyers around your state but, do they fit your estate planning needs? Finding a lawyer who is specialized in matters of the estate plan and if which covers your estate planning needs may be difficult than you think. However, it is made easy by having some piece of guides or information on finding them. Well, there exists various ways for finding an estate or trust attorney. Ranging from the internet, referrals from family, probate courts NY and checking your state and local bar association since an attorney must pass their bar exam to practice in their areas. Running a background check on the lawyer to make sure that you are comfortable sharing your details with them is advisable. Furthermore, understanding the lawyer’s flat-rate fees and the particular facilities they offer is crucial. Among the resources you can use to find an estate or trust attorney include;
1. Martindale Hubbell
An information service company that stores data for legal professionals. The company publishes the Martindale Hubbell law directory which provides background information on the lawyers and the law firms. Here you will not only find attorneys and law firms by practice type (trust and estates or wills and probate), but you can also check the peer rankings.
2. Personal references
You can also ask people you trust in your place of work, within your family, or even your place of worship if they have worked with an attorney on matters concerning estate or trust. Also, ask for their experience with the attorney and if they were satisfied with the service they received. A person referring you to an estate lawyer must have worked with the lawyer in their estate plan. This gives you the certainty that they are offering advice from their own experience.
3. Referrals from other professionals or within law firms
You may have been in contact with professional advisors or financial managers who may have operated along with an estate lawyer, and have awareness of his or her competency and reasoning. Referrals from other professionals are really good as the experience and trustworthiness of the lawyer are guaranteed.
4. Local county and state bar association
All bar associations have recommendation services for lawyers that match you with an estate lawyer near your state, whose law practice focuses on your estate planning needs.
5. Phone directory
In a phone directory, details about different attorneys are listed with the law firms they work for.
Who is an estate attorney/ trust attorney?
An estate planning attorney or lawyer is a qualified and skilled individual in matters of estate planning and who has devoted their efforts to helping people achieve their goals and wishes in estate planning. They assist clients in drafting and implementing legal documents e.g. wills and trusts, advising people on their estate plans, and many more services.
Is it necessary to have an estate attorney?
Estate Planning is a complex process especially where the assets involved are sophisticated, you will need an expert/professional who can make sure that the wishes and goals you have for your estate are fulfilled.
When do I need to employ an estate lawyer?
- When disinheriting an immediate heir
- In the case of a blended family
- When you have an immediate family member with special needs and may require guardianship.
What do estate lawyers do after death?
The estate lawyer helps in avoiding probate progression but this largely depends on the type of assets possessed by the deceased. The lawyer makes it clear to your family members, the directives that you left regarding the inheritance of your estate. They also answer questions that may be asked regarding the decisions made by you in the last Will and testament.
What happens when one dies without a will?
When one dies without a will, they will have said to have died intestate. The probate court in NY provides for intestacy rules. These rules specify how your assets will be transferred to your heirs. Intestacy rules are made with regards to a normal family both nuclear and extended.
Is probate a desired thing?
Probate can be helpful especially when one dies intestate. This is because the court steps in to help transfer the assets in question amongst the present heirs. However, probate processes are costly as the probate fees in NY are high, it is also time-consuming and privacy-invasive as it is done publicly in court.