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Finding the Best Estate Planning Attorney for Your Family

Aug 17, 2007
Finding a good estate-planning attorney is vital for the success of your estate plan. The best attorney would not be one who is just aware of the legal provisions related to how your estate would be transferred in the manner and to whom you want it to got to. He must possess other qualities also. First of all, he must be a team player. This is because crafting a proper estate plan is not the work of a single individual, but is the result of co-ordinated inputs by a team of accounting, taxation, finance, investment and legal professionals. There has to be cohesion and co-ordination among all the people involved, in order to serve the interest of the client. Usually, other professionals view the estate-planning attorney as a mere 'scribe', who is responsible for just writing the instrument(s) related to the estate plan.

However, this is not a correct perspective. An attorney who focuses on real estate planning is much better placed to understand that estate planning requires much more than cut and dried legal advice. He builds a strong and long-term relationship with you, which would in fact be much more than what generally exists between a professional and a client. He would help you through the intricate details of the legal requirements of transferring wealth and the related tax implications.

Additionally, he would want to lean the details of the aims that you might have regarding your estate. He would probe by having an intelligent dialogue so that you can express your desires and aspirations about yourself and those whom you love and care for. For example, how you would want to be cared for in the event of suffering a disability, or in what way you would wish to provide for those whom you care about after your death. He would also ask you about who you wish should be in control of your affairs.

These discussions would also cover areas such as the educational funding of your future generations, your provisions for the care of a surviving spouse, maintaining a record of your family history and the facts that support the values that you stand for, your philanthropic inclinations etc. On a different note, he would also inquire about interpersonal relationships within the family, which in reality may be quite different from what they outwardly appear, and which can have profound effects on the final outcome of your estate plan. For example, there could be an issue of an untrustworthy or spendthrift offspring, and other such serious matters. He would see to it that all such factors are taken care of in your estate plan.

Such interaction leads to building a long-term relationship with strong bonds and high levels of trust. This is all the more important because estate planning is not something that is planned once and done away with. There may arise a need for reviewing and changing it in the light of new events that may occur later.

A good estate-planning attorney would pay due recognition to all the other professionals from different disciplines, as he is aware of the importance of their contributions to the estate plan as a whole. He will ensure maintaining a meaningful dialogue with them, in the best interests of the client. Hence, you need to look for these traits, which are sure indicators of the quality of an estate-planning attorney. This is how you can find the best estate-planning attorney for your family.
About the Author
California Tax Help is easier than ever with former IRS agent and a Sacramento CPA Firm. To view our services and new articles for 2007 Estate Tax Planning please visit our award winning site http://www.april15.com.
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