Some folks over the years have told me that they made a mistake when they went to the wrong person to set up their estate planning program. Heck, some people may have felt they made a mistake coming to me. Nonetheless, I've decided to share the four main attributes that you should look for when you hire an estate planning attorney. It's important to get this right, for two reasons: (1) you want to be able to like the attorney you work with; and (2) the details of your plan may not really come out until after you are gone and a mistake might not be correctable.
Here are 4 things to look for in your estate planning attorney:
(1) Speak in normal terms. Do they talk "over your head", or do you fully understand and comprehend everything they say.
(2) Does what they say. If they say they will call you tomorrow at 4:00, do they actually do that? Or do they say, "I'll try to get to that tomorrow," but don't.
(3) Knows their stuff. Do they utilize some combination of education, experience, and effort, so that you have confidence that they know enough to really help you?
(4) Kind. Are they kind, polite, respectful of your time, punctual, a good listener, and just all-around a nice person.
If you find an estate attorney who has these attributes, it's probably safe to start a conversation about how they can help you and your family through the maze of stuff that you must go through to get your estate legal affairs in order.