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How to find a quality Estate Planning Attorney?

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  • Avatar JK 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 138
    Joined: 01/09/2016

    I am currently in the process of getting my financial house in order and plan on meeting with an Estate Planning Attorney in the next 12 months. However, what resources are available for finding a competent, reasonably priced attorney. I know there are Financial Advisers listed on this site that were vetted by WCI, but what about estate planning attorneys. Is there a good list somewhere. For reference, I live in the Philadelphia area if anyone has specific suggestions.

    Also, is there a list of questions that I should have answered or at least prepare for ahead of time so I can be ready for the meeting and also minimize the cost the attorney will charge?

    #115186 Reply
    q-school q-school 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 2516
    Joined: 05/07/2017

    i don’t think preparing will reduce the charges.  unless there is something crazy, they have set prices.  they will have a lengthy form for you to fill out.  they will review it with you.

    lot of the questions revolve around what ifs.  what if another child is discovered?  what if an as yet unborn child becomes disabled.  name trustees.  retitle assets.  do you want your sister/brother/friend in charge of the money?   what age should kid get the money?   etc etc

    we have done three.  probably need to do another one as kids age.

    good luck!

    #115192 Reply
    Avatar ajm184 
    Participant
    Status: Other Professional
    Posts: 573
    Joined: 07/14/2017

    http://www.avvo.com

    search, get reviews, contact info etc.

    #115236 Reply
    White.Beard.Doc White.Beard.Doc 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 843
    Joined: 02/06/2016
    Earnest refinancing bonus

    Ask your accountant, your attorney, your friend who works in finance.  It is kind of like finding a good doctor.  You need to know who to ask.

    #115238 Reply
    q-school q-school 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 2516
    Joined: 05/07/2017

    Ask your accountant, your attorney, your friend who works in finance.  It is kind of like finding a good doctor.  You need to know who to ask.

    Click to expand…

    agree you have to know who to ask, but how do we know how well they know?

    the accountant may or may not have good criteria for making a recommendation.  the attorney may just recommend someone in house.  they could be great or they could be inhouse.

    I ended up asking three people-accountant, financial advisor, local lawyer for three names.  happily one person was on three lists, so I went with them.  but no idea how good or bad.  costs were roughly same.

     

    #115289 Reply
    Hank Hank 
    Moderator
    Status: Attorney
    Posts: 1284
    Joined: 03/27/2017

    American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) membership should be a good sign. Avvo Is good too.

    While he’s in Pittsburgh instead of Philly, Jim Lange is a Pennsylvania attorney who publishes extensively and is well regarded for tax and estate work.

    #115360 Reply
    Avatar ransom 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 13
    Joined: 04/05/2018

    I went through all of this not too long ago and can recommend someone in the ny/nj/philly area.  Prices were more or less all the same. I did extensive research.  To me an ACTEC designation was a must as it shows you have the basic minimum knowledge for this area of law.  I think of ACTEC like a fellowship in medicine.  I also found that local attorneys i.e. those within driving distance are not necessary.  I only met with mine once, but, looking back, that was not even necessary.

    #115393 Reply
    MPMD MPMD 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 2281
    Joined: 05/01/2017

    liked mine, they have a network, PM if you want contact info and they can probably refer

    #115402 Reply
    thomashackett thomashackett 
    Participant
    Status: Attorney, Small Business Owner
    Posts: 28
    Joined: 08/29/2016

    I’m an estate plannig attorney.

    If I were you, I would get recommendations from people who regularly deal with estate planning attorneys such as CPAs and financial advisors. I put little faith in AVVO, as there are many attorneys with a 10.0 rating who aren’t nearly the caliber of lower rated attorneys. ACTEC is a solid designation.

    Estate planning attorney

    #115416 Reply

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