In the past, we have discussed some particular traits that all good estate planners possess. If you are looking for a solid and established estate planner to help you handle your affairs, you will want to someone who:
- Is a Good Listener
- Exercises Discretion
- Has Experience to Match Your Needs
- Maintains a Good Reputation
So what distinguishes a great estate planner from one who is simply good?
Finding An Exceptional Estate Planner
Your estate planner is the person who will be handling your future and, in turn, the future of your loved ones. Therefore, you should never hire an estate planner without doing some research ahead of time.
If you want to find a truly exceptional estate planner, you will need to do a bit of advanced detective work during your first meeting. Don’t be afraid to dig deep in the interest of making the right decision.
Here are a few questions you should ask yourself during the first face-to-face meeting with an estate planner you’re considering to hire.
Does he/she pursue continued education?
Your estate planner should keep up to date with the laws and terms in your state regarding trusts, wills, probate, and any other area they practice in. If they do not seek out continued education and keep up to date with laws that govern these things, you may end up with an estate plan that doesn’t work the way you intended it to.
Is he/she bold enough to be honest with me?
A good estate planner will always be upfront and honest with you. They will fully explain the services you are being provided and give you an accurate price for those services.
If your estate planner refuses to divulge the exact scope of the work they plan on doing for you or how much it will cost until after you’ve pledged to work with them, walk out the door. It is your right to know what is happening with your estate at all times.
A truly great estate planner will encourage discussion over a range of particular elements of your personalized plan, and they will begin fostering your own education about your estate plan.
Does he/she seem to be afraid of saying “No”?
An exceptional estate planner knows that not every solution is right for everyone. There is no “one size fits all” in estate planning. You may walk in with the intention of creating a will, but perhaps that isn’t the best option for your situation.
A great estate planner will discuss with you the other available options, and why another route may suit you better. You are, after all, going to them for their expertise and knowledge. If they don’t tell you why your preferred options is the best, or perhaps not the best, they may not know themselves.
Is he/she actively showing compassion for my situation?
Any good estate planner knows how sensitive estate planning can be. The best ones will be able to show you that their interest goes beyond the fee they want to charge you. Over the course of your conversation, you will be able to see how well they pay attention to your hopes and fears for the future.
By the end of the first meeting, you will notice how effective they’ve been at crafting an initial plan that encompasses all of those same hopes and addresses the fears without feeling like it came from a “how to” kit.
Get In Touch
Are you considering working with an estate planner to get your affairs in order? Get in touch with us. Let the Law Office of Justin M. Gilbert prove to you that our practice embodies all of these exceptional traits and many more. If you have any questions, feel free to give us a call at (916) 932-7416.
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