Few things are more important to the success of your estate plan than the attorney you choose to design and draft it. Almost as important is the relationship that is formed between that attorney and other professional advisors who serve you in the areas of financial advice and accounting. All successful estate planning is the result of several professions working together for the good of the client. However, professionals of one group sometimes have misconceptions of professionals belonging to other groups. For example, the financial advisor may see the estate planning attorney as little more than a document scrivener. But this is far from the truth.Do you want to learn more? Visit Giles & Robinson, P.A.
Many attorneys who limit their practice to estate planning are values-based, relationship-driven, client-centered and counseling-oriented. And the good ones are willing to work together with other professionals on your behalf. They understand that thorough estate planning involves more than just legal advice. The key is to find those attorneys who meet this description.
So where do you find these rare creatures? How do you know if you’re dealing with the right kind of attorney? The right kind of attorney will have an orientation toward relationship-building and counseling rather than mere document preparation. The first thing he or she will offer is the ability to listen carefully to not only your goals – but also your hopes, dreams, and aspirations for yourself and your loved ones. The attorney will carry on a sensitive dialogue that will enable you to make clear your wishes to maintain control over your affairs, to be cared for properly in the event of a disability and to provide meaningfully for your loved ones after you are gone.
It’s About More Than Just Taxes
Any competent estate planning attorney can help you navigate the legal intricacies and tax laws that pertain to the passing of wealth. But the right kind of estate planning attorney will also be interested in your desire to pass along more than just money. He or she will ask about and explain how to accomplish such things as: funding the education of offspring for several generations, meeting philanthropic goals that will leave a legacy for your community, preserving family history and stories that support the values you believe in, continuing or divesting a family business, caring for a surviving spouse regardless of circumstances and much more.
On a less positive, but equally important note, the right kind of attorney will ask about such things as: the complexities of the family relationships that may exist due to second marriage situations, the special health needs of a grandchild, the son or daughter-in-law who is not to be trusted, the child or grandchild who is a spendthrift or suffers from substance abuse. Such in-depth counseling forms a strong foundation on which a long-term relationship is built. That relationship is important because an estate plan is not a transaction.