Switch to ADA Accessible Theme
Close Menu
Virginia Beach Estate Planning Lawyer / Blog / Estate Planning / Choosing Trust and Estate Attorney Takes Some Research

Choosing Trust and Estate Attorney Takes Some Research

young  woman signing contract front of professional
young woman signing contract front of professional

Most people probably know, or strongly suspect, that they need a lawyer when it comes to planning an estate or setting up trusts.

But how should they go about selecting one?

A recent web posting at trust-estate.lawyers.com offers some helpful pointers.

“The practice of ‘trusts and estates’ is a very broad category that includes estate planning, estate and trust administration, probate, elder law and more,” the site states. “Estates and trusts attorneys usually have more expertise in specific issues. So, if you need a trusts and estates attorney, look for one who specializes in the area of your concern. For example, if your mother just passed away and you want to hire an attorney to settle her estate, look for someone with lots of experience probating estates in the county where your mother lived. Or, if you want to plan your estate but have a complicated financial situation, look for an attorney with lots of experience drafting trusts, ideally someone with a tax background as well.”

The author of the article cautions that it’s easy to be fooled into thinking a lawyer has more knowledge and expertise in given areas than is actually the case. But, the story points out, that need not necessarily be a deal-breaker.

“Unfortunately, there are some attorneys who hold themselves out as experts in trusts and estates, but who have little or no experience in this area of practice. If one of these attorneys offers to draw up your will or trust, he or she will probably just plug your information into a software program without really knowing the details about the law or what effects it might have on your estate.

“That said, if money is tight and you need to find a lawyer who charges a moderate fee, consider finding a smart, less experienced, attorney to help you. After all experience does not necessarily make a good lawyer, and a newer attorney may very well become a great attorney. However, less experienced attorneys should also know when they are in over their heads, so make sure that any less experienced lawyer you hire has a more experienced attorney to consult, if needed.”

The article recommends doing research in advance once a list of potential lawyers is selected, including visiting his or her website; contacting the state bar association to make certain they are all in good standing; speaking with other people about their experiences with legal representatives; and checking up on certifications.

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn