Finding, and eventually hiring, an Orange County estate planning lawyer is a very big decision for you and your family.
Essentially, this will be the person who sees your family through perhaps the toughest time of their life. He or she will also be responsible for keeping a close eye on your family to ensure your plan stays updated as your lives, and the law, changes through the years.
So for that reason, you not only want to hire a qualified Orange Count estate planning lawyer, but also one that you feel comfortable with and fully trust to guide your family through all of life’s major transitions.
To help you do this, I’ve compiled the top 10 questions you should ask before hiring ANY Orange County Estate Planning lawyer. I encourage you to print this list out and bring it with you as you interview prospective attorneys in the OC:
- Do you prepare a comprehensive plan for my kids’ care if something happens to me, like the Kids Protection Plan™ that names short and long‐term guardians and gives specific instructions to all of the guardians and my caregivers? What about an ID card for my wallet listing the short‐term guardians with their contact information?
- Are all of your fees flat fees? What about your fees for ongoing work after the initial completion of my estate planning documents? What happens when I call with legal questions 2 years after my planning documents were completed? What if the questions are about something other than my estate plan?
- Do you have a whole team in place or is it just you? What happens if something happens to you or you retire?
- What happens if I need to get a quick question answered and you are not available?
- Will you make sure my assets are titled in the right way? How?
- What happens when things change in my life? Do you notify me about changes in the law? How often do you communicate with me?
- Does my planning fee include a regular review of my plan? What if I want to make changes to my plan?
- Do you have a process for helping me capture and pass on my intangible wealth, such as my intellectual, spiritual and human assets or who I am and what’s important to me?
- Can you structure my estate plan so that whatever I leave to my kids will be protected from a lawsuit against them or if they are divorced in the future? How often do you build that kind of planning into client’s plans?
- Can you help me make smart choices about things like buying insurance, saving for college, and retirement planning?
As you can see, knowing the answers to these questions before you engage an estate planning lawyer will ensure you receive a plan that truly protects your family, rather than one that will become a pile of outdated, worthless paper once you are gone.
And please feel free to contact OUR office and ask these same questions that I outlined above. You can do that by calling 949-260-1400 and schedule a FREE Family Wealth Planning Session (normally $750) with the mention of this article. These sessions are limited to 10 per month so call today!