The decision to retain an attorney should be made after you have exercised independent judgment, as this attorney/client relationship for you and your family may span many years. There are many considerations, both personal and professional that you should address. Please find a few suggestions below when choosing:
- How many years has the attorney practiced in this area of trusts, wills and estate planning?
- What percentage does this area make up of his/her overall practice?
- Does the firm have other attorneys practicing in this area?
- How does the firm bill – hourly basis or fixed fee for service?
- Ask for an estimate of the total fee. What circumstances would cause the estimate to be off more than 25%?
- Check with local Bar in your state and inquire about complaints or status of the attorney. (Complaints do not mean the attorney committed an improper or wrongful act.)
- Does the firm carry professional liability or errors and omissions insurance coverage?
- Ask the attorney about his experience and qualifications to determine certifications, membership in professional associations, and education.
Need help finding an attorney? Members Trust Company will provide you with a list of attorneys. Please understand we are not endorsing any of the attorneys on the list and shall have no responsibility or liability for the services rendered by any attorney on the list. This list will be made available as an accommodation and service to you as we believe finalizing an estate plan is one of the most important steps you may take to protect yourself and your loved ones. Please contact the Trust staff at your credit union.
If you need extensive counsel and planning on federal income and estate taxes, inquire about experience in those areas. (Some firms provide estate planning but do not offer involved tax planning.)