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Five Questions You Should Ask Your Estate Planning Attorney

Gene Kirzhner April 3, 2023

It is impossible to anticipate what will happen in the future, which is why it is extremely important to arrange how your estate will be handled and distributed after you pass away. A properly designed estate plan gives you control over how your property will be transferred to the people you deem convenient and ensures your last wishes are satisfied.

An estate plan also allows you to control your future if for any reason you become incapacitated, specifying the:

  • Type of medical care you wish to receive

  • Where you will reside

  • Whether or not you want extraordinary measures to save you if your life is at risk

Understand What an Attorney Can Do for You

Before you decide to hire an estate planning attorney to assist you, it is essential to fully understand what type of services you are contracting and what you should expect. Ask these questions and understand the answers.

  1. Can my estate planning attorney help with personal decisions such as buying insurance, saving for college, and retirement planning? A skilled and well-prepared estate planning attorney can (and should) help you make challenging decisions that will come up in your life and business and directly affect your estate.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that your estate planning attorney needs to be licensed to sell insurance or be an elder member of society, just that they need the experience and knowledge to guide you properly.

  • Is your primary focus estate planning law? If you need a specialist in estate planning, then hiring an attorney who handles “any case” and does not specialize in estate planning may not be your best choice. On the other hand, an attorney who usually works on large and complicated estate planning situations (even if they charge a higher fee) would be more supportive and know better the insights of an estate planning case.

  • Do I need a last Will? You are not legally required to issue a formal last will; however, it is the primary estate planning tool for most people since it would allow you to express your intentions and make important decisions about the distribution of your estate after you are gone.

  • Can I just find a Will template online? People can find about anything on the internet these days, including valid and well-drafted legal templates. However, an attorney’s value consists in making sure that you understand all your legal options and deciding which one is best for you. Using online templates puts you at risk of having invalid, insufficient, or ambiguous documents that do not cover all your legal needs.

  • Do I need Trust? Estate planning is not only about how your patrimony will be distributed after the end of your life but also covers alternatives and valid tools to reduce taxes, preserve wealth and ensure Medicaid eligibility. A Trust would be an excellent estate planning tool for doing so, evening if it requires meticulous management and oversight.

We Have the Answers to Help You

The Law Offices of Howe and Garside, LTD have years of experience in estate planning and will do everything we can to help you make the right decisions for your best legal outcome.

Our attorneys will assess your legal concerns and handle your case with the attention it deserves. Contact us today or use our online contact form to schedule a free consultation.

The Law Offices of Howe and Garside, LTD provides highly-experienced legal solutions in Newport, Lincoln, Middletown, Portsmouth, Warwick, Greenwich, Kingstown, Tiverton, and the surrounding Rhode Island communities.

The Law Offices of Howe and Garside, LTD

55 Memorial Blvd. Suite 5

Newport, RI 02840