Just like any other profession, there will be all different kinds of estate planners. Due to the nature of our business, you need to be sure you are working with the right person. You are trusting your personal affairs to this person. In a way, you are entrusting your estate planner with your future, as well as the futures of your loved ones.
The Bad News
As an experienced estate planner, I know that it's tempting to assume that calling oneself an estate planner and maintaining an office makes you the right person to be handling people's personal affairs. Unfortunately, a title and location do not, in and of themselves, qualify anyone to handle another person's future.
As a person who's interested in creating an airtight, exceptional estate plan, I implore you to keep in mind that there are people out there who won't have your best interests at heart. You wouldn't trust your health or your family's wellbeing to a doctor without researching your best options a bit, would you? You should be just as careful when selecting an estate planner.
The Good News
For every handful of sub-par estate planners out there, there is an extraordinary one. When you are ready to find a great estate planner to help you put together your affairs in preparation for the future, you need to be very deliberate - even choosy - to ensure that you get what you're paying for.
Do you know what to look for when you are ready to find a perfect match?
Here are some traits you should look for when choosing your estate planner.
1. A Good Listener
Being a good listener and understanding the unique needs of a client is undoubtedly the most important trait of an exceptional estate planner. A good estate planner will pay attention to even the smallest details of your needs and requirements. There is no "perfect solution" that can be applied across the board. You will receive the best quality service and the best results from an estate planner that listens and tailors a plan unique to you and your needs.
2. Exercising Discretion
Every single estate planner worth their salt will be discreet. The sensitive nature of the information we handle merits serious discretion. If you notice that an estate planner has other clients records and information scattered about, or if it doesn't seem that the office has any practices to protect your information, I advise you to keep looking.
3. Experience To Match Your Needs
Estate planning definitely is not "one size fits all." Make sure the estate planner you choose has experience that matches the scope of your needs. Not all estate planners have an expansive repertoire of knowledge. One estate planner might be the most amazing elder law attorney around, but if you are looking into trust litigation they might not be able to do the best job for you.
Here at the Law Office of Justin M. Gilbert, I have experience in:
4. A Good Reputation
Reputation and goodwill goes a long way in estate planning. A solid and verifiable reputation takes years of experience, trust building, and consistent hard work to establish. Ask around and look up reviews online. You should always do research into your estate planner before you settle on their services. Consider and weigh all of the opinions you can find. Other people's experiences will clue you in as to what kind of estate planner they really are.
Are you considering working with an estate planner to get your affairs in order? Get in touch with us. Let me prove to you that I embody all of these traits and more. If you have any questions, feel free to give our office a call at (916) 932-7416.