The following questions were designed to help individuals find competent tax and estate planning counsel in states, such as Virginia, where there is no board certification of lawyers as estate planning specialists. This list is not exhaustive and it is not suggested that a wrong answer to an questions should disqualify an attorney from consideration. However, individuals may be able to judge from the answers, as a whole, whether the attorney they are consulting has adequate expertise and experience to handle their critically important estate planning matters.
Questions To Ask The Attorney
Information The Estate Planning Attorney Should Seek From You
Choosing an estate planning attorney is an important decision. You will want a person who is capable both in handling the technical aspects of trusts, wills, powers of attorney and tax issues. But you will also want someone who will actively listen to your goals, dreams, desires and fears, and who will counsel and guide you through the process of protecting your family and assets.
You will also want an advisor who enjoys a good reputation in the community. Martindale-Hubbell®, a directory of lawyers, conducts a peer-review rating service. Attorneys with an “AV” rating, indicate that they have the respect of their peers as having the highest ability in their field and high ethical standards. Inclusion in a publication, such as “The Best Lawyers in America ®” also indicates that an attorney has the respect of his or her peers as being accomplished in the practice of law. Membership in the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC ©) demonstrates a commitment to the field of estate planning through speaking, writing and/or bar association involvement.