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How to Choose an Estate Planning Attorney in Illinois

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A skilled estate planning attorney manages your assets and affairs in preparation for your eventual demise or incapacitation. Estate lawyers have numerous invaluable functions. Given these professionals have detailed knowledge about your assets, goals, and family needs, choosing a suitable estate planning attorney is crucial to your present peace of mind and your loved ones’ future.

The Power of Estate Planning AttorneysLast-Will-and-Testament-Form-with-Gavel

Estate planning attorneys wear multiple hats. Your last will and testament are likely drafted by an estate planning attorney. Such a lawyer also creates living trusts. While looking toward the future, your estate planning lawyer will work to prevent creditors from pursuing your beneficiaries after your death. They can also help you avoid estate taxes.

Aside from managing financial matters, an estate planning attorney has the power to prepare health care directives. In the event mental incapacitation gets a stronghold in your life, this legal professional will arrange to have your affairs kept in good order.

A lawyer who specializes in estate planning should be your top choice. General legal practitioners are unlikely to offer niche services to guide you through your unique financial matters.

Requirements for Estate Planning Attorneys

Your ideal choice should also stay abreast of the current laws of the state in which you reside. In the unfortunate event you pick an estate planning attorney who fails to keep up with changing state laws, your estate plan could be deemed null in court.

If you feel comfortable sharing the particulars of your life, assets, death and possible future disability with a potential estate planning attorney, you may have struck gold. A compatible lawyer listens to your concerns with the precise intent to develop an estate plan that fully satisfies your expectations.

Finding a remarkable professional to carry out your estate plan takes a little digging. You’ll find most success by asking for referrals. Professionals you already trust, people like your financial advisor, your accountant, and your attorney, can lead you to a fitting estate planning attorney.

While referrals are an excellent starting point, you can also achieve your goal by scouring legal ads. Print, television and radio are inundated with ads from lawyers. It helps to know that states regulate attorney ads to deter lawyers from guaranteeing unattainable outcomes.

Your local bar association or state bar offers a list of certified attorneys who specialize in estate planning. You may stumble upon a certified referral service from a city or county bar association.

Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, perhaps based on specialization or location, prepare to take advantage of the lawyers’ consultations. During the initial meeting, ask questions. The attorneys’ answers will direct you to a qualified and well-suited professional.

What to Look for in an Estate Planning Attorney

1. Experience

Any attorney can legally claim the title of estate planner, even if he has no direct experience with the specialty. A simple estate plan can be carried out by an estate planning attorney with just two to three years of experience. Complex estate plans should be handled by an experienced lawyer, one with seven to ten years of handling trust law, probate as well as estate planning.

2. Full Time

Ask your potential estate planning attorney how much time he allocates to estate planning. The ideal response is “full time”. Effectively navigating the sophisticated field of estate planning requires specialized expertise and dedication.

3. Accredited Estate Planner

The National Association of Estate Planners & Councils awards the AEP. Professionals who receive this designation are licensed attorneys who are active in estate planning, have five years (minimum) of direct experience working in estate planning and have at least 15 hours of continuing education in estate planning within the past 24 months.

4. Payment

While seeking the cheapest lawyer is tempting, it is imperative to avoid the most inexpensive estate planning attorneys for two reasons:

  • Low-cost estate planning lawyers tend to utilize standard documentation, thereby failing to take into account your unique needs
  • Lawyers who charge less may offer the least experience; and, when your assets are complex, an experienced lawyer is more likely to provide you and your loved ones with the desired services.

5. Communication

An attorney’s seamless communication and explanations regarding the multifaceted aspects of estate planning are major pluses when you are on the hunt for a qualified estate planning professional. As a client, it is crucial that you comprehend the documents you sign.

6. Advisor or Salesman?

An estate planning attorney’s job is to advise you on important matters regarding your estate, rather than sell services or tools. An appropriate setup occurs when you have trust in the advice of your estate planning lawyer, enough to reveal your goals and familial concerns.

Work with Experienced Estate Planning Attorneys in Chicago

The well-being of your family is important. When you are planning to seamlessly disperse your assets among your loved ones, a qualified estate planning lawyer is critical. The attorneys at Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. offer over 30 years of experience in estate planning.

About Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd.Cheri-Costa-Family-Child-Custody-Attorney-Oak-Lawn-IL

Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. estate planning attorneys will take steps to fully understand your unique financial situation. Estate planning documents are then drafted and executed to meet your and your family’s needs. Our lawyers stay up to date on all current Illinois laws, so expect peace of mind in knowing your estate plan will be accepted in court.

Included in the comprehensive estate planning services provided by Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. are will and trust creations. When it comes to trusts, our reputable team of lawyers offer experience with life insurance trusts, charitable trusts and living trusts, among many others.

Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. serves the Oak Lawn, Illinois, community with dedication. We are committed to offering top-notch estate planning services to clients in the surrounding areas.

Schedule a Consultation

Give us a call at (708) 425-9530 or fill out a contact form to schedule your consultation with an experienced estate planning attorney.

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