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Question about finding estate planning attorney

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  • Avatar drbisco 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 19
    Joined: 04/27/2018

    HI everyone, I’m looking to get some help with estate planning, LLC setups, etc and looking for a lawyer.  Starting with basic will, healthcare POA setups, which should be straightforward, but also building a relationship for potential future trust setups.  Also wanted to look into starting LLC for real estate purposes.

    Any recommendations on what to look for regarding finding a good estate planning attorney and good ways to get recs and good questions to ask when surveying potential lawyers.  I live in the chicago area and the numbers of options are overwhelming.  Obviously, talking to colleagues would be a start, but I think it can be difficult to get a gestalt on needs and I don’t want to necessarily pry on certain personal finance issues, etc.  Google and online reviews for lawyers I’m assuming are hit or miss just like they are for physicians.  SPecific questions to ask?

    In that same regards, anyone have specific recommendations for said attorney in the chicago metro area?

     

     

    #126494 Reply
    Craigy Craigy 
    Participant
    Status: Spouse
    Posts: 1856
    Joined: 09/16/2016

    ACTEC is a good resource if searching from scratch.

    LEVEL 1 WCI FORUM MEMBER.

    #126495 Reply
    Liked by Hank, jfoxcpacfp
    Side Hustle Scrubs Side Hustle Scrubs 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 366
    Joined: 04/12/2018

    Just keep in mind that someone who makes a great estate planning attorney may not be the best business/real estate attorney. You may need different people for different roles.

    See hustle. Do hustle. Teach hustle.
    SideHustleScrubs.com

    #126496 Reply
    Liked by jfoxcpacfp
    AnjaliFIT AnjaliFIT 
    Participant
    Status: Financial Advisor, Small Business Owner
    Posts: 107
    Joined: 04/01/2018

    HI everyone, I’m looking to get some help with estate planning, LLC setups, etc and looking for a lawyer.  Starting with basic will, healthcare POA setups, which should be straightforward, but also building a relationship for potential future trust setups.  Also wanted to look into starting LLC for real estate purposes.

    Any recommendations on what to look for regarding finding a good estate planning attorney and good ways to get recs and good questions to ask when surveying potential lawyers.  I live in the chicago area and the numbers of options are overwhelming.  Obviously, talking to colleagues would be a start, but I think it can be difficult to get a gestalt on needs and I don’t want to necessarily pry on certain personal finance issues, etc.  Google and online reviews for lawyers I’m assuming are hit or miss just like they are for physicians.  SPecific questions to ask?

    In that same regards, anyone have specific recommendations for said attorney in the chicago metro area?

     

     

    Click to expand…

    Hi, I use to live in Chicago so I can give you the attorneys I recommend to clients.  Feel free to send me a private message and I’ll give you their info.

    Anjali Jariwala CPA, CFP®
    [email protected]┃847.863.6836
    http://www.fitadvisors.com

    #126514 Reply
    Liked by jfoxcpacfp, Craigy
    jfoxcpacfp jfoxcpacfp 
    Moderator
    Status: Financial Advisor, Accountant, Small Business Owner
    Posts: 7306
    Joined: 01/09/2016

    You’ll probably need a separate attorney for E&T and property/corporate issues, but you should be able to find both in the same firm. I have a list of 7 recommended E&T attorneys in Chicago – maybe one or two will be duplicated on Anjali’s list.

    Part of the initial info I give to clients is that they should expect the following basic legal documents:

    All of the above should be included in the estate planning package you are quoted. Be sure to ask and also ask about a RLT (Revocable Living Trust) – not necessary in every state, but I think best to have in IL (maybe Anjali can comment).

    One client who recently interviewed an attorney there was offered a discount off the fees she was first quoted when the atty learned that the client was still shopping. If you’re price-conscious, you might want to interview several (phone) then circle back to the 1 or 2 who you “clicked” with to see if the quote is final.

     

     

    Johanna Fox Turner, CPA, CFP, Fox Wealth Mgmt & Fox CPAs ~ 270-247-0555
    https://fox-cpas.com/for-doctors-only/

    #126530 Reply
    AnjaliFIT AnjaliFIT 
    Participant
    Status: Financial Advisor, Small Business Owner
    Posts: 107
    Joined: 04/01/2018

    Great list Johanna!  I suggest revocable living trusts in IL because probate is very expensive even if you don’t have any real property right now.  The estate tax exemption amount is also much lower in IL than it is for Federal purposes ($4M) so you’ll want to make sure your documents are set up to account for this.  If you have children (or are planning to have children) you can have the attorney set up the documents to account for this as well.  I usually suggest that the documents are drafted to create children’s trusts to the extent something happens to husband and wife.  These trusts can provide creditor and divorce protection and allows you to set it up in a way that they are not able to get all of the assets outright before a certain age.  For example, my documents are set up to allow for my child to be co-trustee at age 30 and full trustee at age 35.  A lot of the attorneys will also discuss setting up ILITs (irrevocable life insurance trusts) for your life insurance policies.  These essentially pull insurance policies out of the estate.  However, I am less inclined to have clients to do these (Johanna may have different thoughts) right now since the Federal estate tax exemption was doubled with the new tax law.

    Interested to hear more about the LLC for the real estate.  Unless it is something complex you probably can do it yourself.  I always find the cost attorneys charge for LLC set up to be a bit much.

    Anjali Jariwala CPA, CFP®
    [email protected]┃847.863.6836
    http://www.fitadvisors.com

    #126556 Reply
    Liked by jfoxcpacfp
    thomashackett thomashackett 
    Participant
    Status: Attorney, Small Business Owner
    Posts: 28
    Joined: 08/29/2016

    It is unlikely I’d hire a doc who offered me a discount to use doc’s services.

    Do you want the lawyer who can’t get people to pay the lawyer’s standard fee?

    Estate planning attorney

    #126640 Reply
    jfoxcpacfp jfoxcpacfp 
    Moderator
    Status: Financial Advisor, Accountant, Small Business Owner
    Posts: 7306
    Joined: 01/09/2016

    It is unlikely I’d hire a doc who offered me a discount to use doc’s services.

    Do you want the lawyer who can’t get people to pay the lawyer’s standard fee?

    Click to expand…

    In this case, the attorney is a new associate just starting out under the tutelage of the original attorney we recommended. In some cases, I would agree with you, but in this case, I was comfortable with the reason for the discount and appreciated it as our clients are pretty price-sensitive and don’t need a lot of bells and whistles.

    Johanna Fox Turner, CPA, CFP, Fox Wealth Mgmt & Fox CPAs ~ 270-247-0555
    https://fox-cpas.com/for-doctors-only/

    #126666 Reply
    jfoxcpacfp jfoxcpacfp 
    Moderator
    Status: Financial Advisor, Accountant, Small Business Owner
    Posts: 7306
    Joined: 01/09/2016
    A lot of the attorneys will also discuss setting up ILITs (irrevocable life insurance trusts) for your life insurance policies.  These essentially pull insurance policies out of the estate.  However, I am less inclined to have clients to do these (Johanna may have different thoughts) right now since the Federal estate tax exemption was doubled with the new tax law.

    Click to expand…

    I feel the same about the ILITs + for another reason – almost all of our clients have term insurance and they will, in most cases, outlive the term or cancel it when they self-insure. I don’t see a need to go through an expensive process for something that probably won’t be necessary.

    Johanna Fox Turner, CPA, CFP, Fox Wealth Mgmt & Fox CPAs ~ 270-247-0555
    https://fox-cpas.com/for-doctors-only/

    #126667 Reply
    Hank Hank 
    Moderator
    Status: Attorney
    Posts: 1186
    Joined: 03/27/2017

    One risk is buying a bundle of really nice documents, perhaps with a generic pour over provision in your will, but never actually updating beneficiary designations and getting things titled correctly.

    Frankly, if an estate attorney’s office would take on the responsibility of re-titling assets and updating all beneficiary designations for a flat fee of $500 – $1000 (in addition to the fee for creating the other documents), I’d jump at it.  Also nice to put the act of titling assets on the attorney’s errors and ommissions policy versus leaving the client to “figure it out” after buying an estate plan that hasn’t been funded and completed yet.

    #126833 Reply
    Avatar bean1970 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 467
    Joined: 07/12/2017

    One risk is buying a bundle of really nice documents, perhaps with a generic pour over provision in your will, but never actually updating beneficiary designations and getting things titled correctly.

    Frankly, if an estate attorney’s office would take on the responsibility of re-titling assets and updating all beneficiary designations for a flat fee of $500 – $1000 (in addition to the fee for creating the other documents), I’d jump at it.  Also nice to put the act of titling assets on the attorney’s errors and ommissions policy versus leaving the client to “figure it out” after buying an estate plan that hasn’t been funded and completed yet.

    Click to expand…

    yes. this is the step that is cumbersome depending what your assets are an most lawyers don’t take care of it for you. blanket letter sent to financial institutions in the days now after the banking crisis are no longer accepted. Many lawyers sent them out on behalf of the client and nothing is done with them (that is what Merrill told us. they disregard them and don’t even notify account holder. Account holder needs to figure it out themselves the account titling hasn’t been updated.  Same story for USAA).  At Merrill  we had to actually open up a different account with a “trust registration” and move all the assets into it and close our old account.  Even though I have POA for my husband, I wasn’t allowed to sign anything for him for “new accounts”…so a lawyer would be useless in these cases.    many people are clueless their assets are not titlled correctly because they forked out a lot of money to a lawyer for “documents” and it ended there……

    #126884 Reply

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