Do you know what you’re going to do with your property when you die? If not, you should consider getting a will made so someone can take care of the transfer.
Making a will is a good idea for those with a property that needs to be transferred and anyone who has minor children. A will lawyer can be your guide through the process of drafting the will and figuring out the next steps to take.
To find the best will lawyer for you, follow this guide of what to look for.
When choosing a will lawyer, there are certain practical things to consider. Location is important, so choose a lawyer that is local to you and easy to reach. Fees and payment options should be discussed upfront. Ask the lawyer about their cancellation policy, as there may be additional costs if the will needs to be modified at a later date.
You should make sure that the lawyer is insured, as they will be handling legally binding documents. It is also wise to check if they are available during evenings and weekends, just in case you need to contact them urgently. Ensure that the lawyer’s will-writing style is a good fit for you – for instance, if you only require a simple will, then make sure the lawyer isn’t trying to push for a more complicated one.
Research and Ask Around
Start by looking online at the attorneys in your area and getting reviews from those who have used those lawyers. Once you have a shortlist of attorneys, check with your state’s bar association for reviews and complaints. Ask family, friends, and work colleagues for recommendations and check to ensure that the lawyer you’re considering is experienced in making wills, end-of-life planning, and testamentary trusts.
It is essential to choose a lawyer that you feel comfortable talking to since you will be sharing very important personal information. Schedule a consultation with each of the potential lawyers and make sure that your questions are answered to your satisfaction. Make sure to read the agreement and only sign if you are happy with everything explained to you.
Look for a Knowledgeable Lawyer
When selecting a will lawyer, knowledge and experience should be a top priority. Confirm the lawyer’s qualifications. Ask them about their experience in dealing with wills, and any successes and outcomes in court. Make sure any qualifications they hold match your needs and your circumstances.
It’s also important to confirm practicing certificates are current. Check that the lawyer has relationships with the relevant parts of the court system and all the relevant experience in managing your legal matters.
Look for a Lawyer Who Listens
When choosing a will lawyer, look for one that is an attentive listener. This includes evaluating their patience, interest, and empathy. Ask them questions about their practice and experience. How have they helped clients create these documents in the past? Ask yourself if this individual is truly interested in helping you develop the best estate plan for you and your family.
Make sure this lawyer communicates their fees and expectations clearly, with no hidden costs or surprises. More importantly, they should be someone you feel comfortable working with, as estate planning is a very personal and delicate process.
Enquire About the Cost and Scope of Services
The cost of will lawyers vary greatly, and you need to be clear on how much the services cost before choosing one. So, when researching for will lawyers in Adelaide, for example, enquire about the cost and scope of services Ask the lawyer to provide a written fee agreement so you can understand the overall cost and any potential additional costs that you may incur.
Ask what tasks the lawyer will perform and what tasks they will not do. This will provide an understanding of the scope of services and ensure that all aspects of the will creation process are covered. Ask the lawyer if they offer any additional services such as will preparation, probate, and estate management. All of this information is essential for you to decide if the lawyer is a good fit for you.
Research the Lawyer’s Reputation
When researching the lawyer’s reputation, it is a good idea to check their years of experience in estate planning. Checking any prestigious awards or recognitions they have earned, and whether or not they have ever faced disciplinary action for professional misconduct. It is a good practice to review any reviews or testimonials from previous clients, as well as search for any red flags or negative press about the lawyer.
Your local bar association is a great resource since they are required to collect and maintain records of any disciplinary action against lawyers. Checking a lawyer’s online profile and activity can also be beneficial as it will provide insight into their level of professionalism as well as their insight regarding current trends and practices in the industry.
Have a Clear Contract in Place
The agreed-upon terms and conditions should be detailed in full and should accurately reflect the expectations of both parties. All deadlines for the completion of the will should be discussed and included in the contract.
A clear and concise payment schedule should also be discussed and included to ensure that all parties are in agreement about the timeline and cost for the completion of the will. It is essential to ensure that the will lawyer is licensed and insured in order to protect both parties and their interests.
Knowledge of Estate Planning
When looking for a will lawyer, one of the primary factors to consider revolves around the lawyer’s knowledge of estate planning. Make sure that the lawyer is up to date on all of the laws and regulations related to wills and estate planning.
This knowledge is important for the lawyer to provide counsel on different strategies, such as tax and asset protection planning. The lawyer should provide you with a clear explanation of the entire process from start to finish. In any case, you will want to choose a lawyer who you feel comfortable working with and who has the knowledge to provide solid advice about estate planning matters.
Availability and Follow Up
A good indicator of an attorney’s availability is how quickly he or she responds to initial inquiries. It’s best to find out how quickly a lawyer typically responds to inquiries, and how often they follow up with their clients throughout the process.
Make sure that the lawyer is available in person for meetings and is ready to answer any communication. Make sure to inquire about the lawyer’s general availability, as well as what the lawyer does specifically for their clients.
Choose the Experienced Lawyer for Your Peace of Mind
When it comes to finding an attorney for your will, make sure to do your research, read reviews, ask for referrals, and trust your instincts.
Ultimately, you want to choose an attorney that is knowledgeable, experienced, and able to explain the legal procedure in an understandable way. Taking the time to evaluate the above tips will help you find the best lawyer for your specific needs. Contact your nearest lawyer today to begin the process!