Suppose that you had to entrust a stranger to take your family on a cross-country trip. This person would be responsible for driving your loved ones, feeding them, and ensuring they arrived at their destination safe and sound. You would likely thoroughly investigate the stranger, choosing only the most trustworthy person you could find.
If you would take such care in choosing someone to care for your family on a trip without you, why would you not also take the same care in selecting a qualified estate planning lawyer?
The attorney you hire to handle your estate in Wisconsin is essentially tasked with preparing the legal documents that spell out your final wishes, including those that ensure your loved ones are provided for after your passing. Therefore, it is vital to choose the best one for your circumstances.
Your choice of a Wisconsin estate planning lawyer also impacts how easily your loved ones can make decisions about your care if you cannot make decisions for yourself and how quickly they can wrap up your affairs if you pass away unexpectedly.
To ensure you choose the right estate planning lawyer for your needs, look for the following three characteristics:
You will want a lawyer who regularly and actively practices estate planning. Any attorney can draft a simple will, but an estate planning lawyer with current experience will know all of the options you have available to you to protect your assets’ value, reduce your heirs’ tax liability, and protect your interests if you cannot care for yourself.
Additionally, laws that affect people’s estate plans change. Having an experienced lawyer who regularly practices in this arena ensures you receive up-to-date advice.
It’s crucial that you select an estate planning attorney who takes the time to understand you, your family, your needs, and your goals. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to estate planning. A will may be suitable for one person, whereas another person needs a trust.
The only way an attorney will know what solutions will be best for you is if that attorney takes the time to listen to you.
Creating the estate plan you need does not happen overnight. But neither should you entrust your needs with an attorney who seems too busy to handle your matter. The future is uncertain, and half-completed estate plans are useless.
When you meet with an attorney, they should be able to give you a definite and reasonable timeline of when you can expect your estate plan to be completed.
To find the best Wisconsin estate planning lawyer for your situation, do some research on local attorneys. You can also ask for referrals from friends and family. When you finally meet with a lawyer, make sure you feel comfortable and confident in their ability to represent you completely.
You may need to speak with several attorneys, but that’s okay — you shouldn’t rush to choose a lawyer before you are ready. Once you have found that attorney with the right mix of experience, empathy, and engagement to earn your confidence, you can promptly move forward with creating your estate plan.