Posted on March 17th, 2016
What you do to prepare for the end of your life is, in some ways, as important as what you do throughout your life. Leaving your family is certainly hard enough, but leaving them without direction or having to deal with unassigned assets or debts can be distressing and potentially harmful for them financially.
You might have a will, but if you have more than a couple of personal items you’d like to pass on, a will really doesn’t do what you need, especially for a business owner. You will require a detailed plan for your estate and what you are leaving to your loved ones to be in place long before they are needed. In this way, you are doing the greatest service imaginable for your family. You are providing security and protection for them when you are no longer able to do it yourself.
When you have determined that you need an estate plan, you then have to find an estate planning attorney to get everything in legal order. Without everything being filed with the court and county or state, you aren’t really accomplishing anything. So an estate planning attorney is critical and figuring out how to choose an estate planning attorney is the next logical step.
One of the first things you want to consider is whether or not estate planning, wills, and probate are the attorney’s focus – you want to know if it is all he or she does. This is important from the perspective of specialty law. There are so many facets to the practice of law, that if an attorney does a little bit of everything they will not be expert in anything. That doesn’t work for estate planning. There are too many intricate rules and layers – you need someone who focuses solely on estate law.
You might need to consider location. Getting an attorney out of your own area might be ok, but then again laws for probate and estates differ from county to county and state to state. A Florida estate planning attorney is going to have a completely different focus and level of expertise than a Ohio estate planning lawyer will. The states’ laws are very different, so consider choosing local.
Find out how detailed they are by observing the first consultation – are they pulling out a old form that is generic, or are they working up an individual client worksheet with detailed information? You want the latter – not only for the detail orientation, but also because it shows they have a sole focus. You want to know what their fees are up front. It won’t be realistic to get a fee prior to the first couple of appointments because they have to see how complex the job is, but a ballpark is perfectly fine to start with. The point being there shouldn’t be anything hidden from you.
The estate planning attorney Palm Beach Gardens, Florida residents turn to the most is Mark J. Nowicki, P.A. He has a handle on what Palm Beach Gardens and the surrounding area needs for estate planning. You can contact him at 561-746-9200, email at www.nowickilaw.com, or go by the office at 480 Maplewood Drive, Suite 2, Jupiter, Florida 33458.