The process of looking for an estate planning attorney in Hollywood is never easy, contrary to what many people believe. Estate planning is complex – it involves the creation of a solid legal plan in managing your estate and wealth, and disbursing it after your death. It also involves making sure that minor children are cared for all the time by someone you can trust. Because of this, you’ll need help with planning to ensure someone takes care of them when you’re no longer around.
An estate planning attorney is someone who knows how to advise their clients on getting their affairs in preparation for the possibility of eventual death or mental disability. They have spent so many years of mentoring, legal education, and most importantly, experience. If you’re in need of an estate planning attorney in Hollywood, then you’ve come to the right place.
Today, we’ll go over the important things you need to know when looking for an estate planning attorney.
What does an estate planning lawyer in Hollywood do?
Estate planning doesn’t only revolve around the creation of the last will and testaments. An attorney who specializes in estate planning will also have do deal with drafting living trusts, developing plans to avoid or mitigate estate taxes, and working to ensure that their clients’ assets and life savings are safe from their beneficiaries’ creditors after they die.
Below are the key tasks of an estate planning lawyer in Hollywood:
- They help mitigate or avoid guardianship issues in case you need someone else to look after your affairs.
- They prepare health care directives and a power of attorney. The purpose of this is to help arrange for someone to take care of your affairs in case you become mentally incapacitated.
Difficulties may occur when people don’t plan ahead or don’t plan properly. Often, some heirs would not agree with how their property passes by state law. After all, the law isn’t often in line with what they want. But, if you have a well-drafted estate plan, your property is guaranteed to go to whom you desire, and in the way that you have decided. Your children will be with the person you trusted and chose, and you’ll be able to rest peacefully.
What are the qualities you should look for in your estate planning attorney?
Experience doesn’t always define a good estate planning attorney. While experience and knowledge are both important, they aren’t always necessary when looking for an estate planning lawyer. You just need to find someone who has the following qualities:
- Knowledge of the laws in Hollywood, Florida. The estate plan could be deemed invalid by the court if your attorney isn’t well-versed in and updated with the state laws.
- Makes you feel comfortable when you share intimate details of your concerns and life, so your estate plan does not go below your needs and expectations
- Shows devotion to estate planning
In Florida, you must be closely related to a representative, either by blood or marriage. Otherwise, the representative will have to be at least a resident of the state. There’s usually a designation of an out-of-state attorney, but this person will not be allowed to serve. If you’re working with a qualified estate planning attorney in Hollywood, then you will be able to avoid this kind of mistake. It may seem simple, but it’s very costly.
Where can you find an estate planning attorney in Hollywood?
There are a number of ways you can find an estate planning attorney in Florida whom you can comfortably work with and trust. You can simply start with someone you already know, such as an accountant or a financial adviser. You can also find reputable referrals from your local state bar association. Or if you want, you can ask the local probate court to consult other lawyers.
However, before you make a commitment, try to conduct an interview first. You can do it over the phone, but it has to be brief, so you can easily determine your ability to effectively communicate with them.
Is it worth it to pay for an estate plan?
The costs you need to pay when you hire an estate planning attorney won’t be cheap, since it involves creating, maintaining, and updating the estate plan. What you’ll be paying for is basically the attorney’s expertise, from their years of continuing legal education classes and working with different clients.
You may also need to pay a flat fee, which covers the preparation of the initial consultation and basic documentation. Sometimes, attorneys may charge you by the hour, but you can try to negotiate a flat fee that you can pay for all the work you expect to be done. Some attorneys will be okay with this, especially since experienced attorneys have a good sense of how much time is spent to complete a specific task.
One thing that you should note here is that the money you spend on a qualified attorney won’t go to waste. Without an estate plan, your loved ones might end up paying for more, compared to the costs associated with the services of an estate planning attorney. Estate taxes, for example, may come due in the future, but if you have an estate plan, these won’t be necessary.
Another example would be the possible occurrence of a contentious probate process after your death. This can incur even more legal and court fees, but this can be avoided if you spend your money on planning ahead.
And what really matters the most is having peace of mind. Wouldn’t it make you feel better when you know that things will go exactly as you planned even after your death, because you acquired the help of an experienced estate planning attorney? Take your time in finding an experienced and respected estate planning attorney in Hollywood. After all, it will ultimately benefit your family once you’re gone. They’ll be glad to know you planned ahead.