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 about professionals belonging to other groups. For example, the financial advisor may see the estate planning attorney as little more than a document scrivener.
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.