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One question that should take top priority when interviewing a potential estate-planning attorney is: What is the amount of experience they have accumulated in the field? The reason this should take such precedence is not only because you want it done right from the beginning, but you also want your attorney to be able to advise you or your family members appropriately in the event of a disability or death. You want your estate planning attorney to not only be capable of preparing the appropriate documentation but also be able to assist on the estate administration side as well. I have been completing estate plans and helping with estate administration in the state of Illinois for over 13 years.

Clients should also inquire the amount of time an attorney will require to complete their estate plan. After our initial interview, you will have a good understanding of how long it will take for your estate plan to be completed. With some clients, time is of the essence. Please inform me of any time restrictions so, if needed I can complete your estate plan before your timeframe in mind (vacation, surgery, etc).

It is also crucial to understand the details of the plan your attorney creates for you; clients should always ask their attorney the amount of time they are willing to spend explaining their plan. With my flat billing arrangement, I will gladly sit down with you for as long as you need. I don’t want my clients feeling rushed in any way or feel they can’t ask questions because they know the hour meter is ticking. This is one reason why I believe the flat fee estate plan billing method is welcomed and praised by my clients.

Finally, one should consider whether you are capable of working closely with your potential attorney; the implication here is that you may be required to discuss multiple personal details about your life with respect to your estate plan. If you are not, this withdrawal of crucial information could be detrimental to your estate planning process because the attorney is incapable of planning for life events they are not aware are an issue. Therefore, it is essential that you select an attorney you can trust with this vital information. I encourage all my clients to bring a list of questions and concerns to our first meeting. If the client doesn’t ask the question, I also have a list of questions for the client in case there is something they have not considered.

Basically, before you hire an estate planning attorney, you should do your own research to make sure that attorney has experience drafting estate planning documents. Estate planning is the leading cause of malpractice claims in Illinois and not every attorney has the necessary experience to do it right. Call us Today!