Proactively addressing your end-of-life affairs can alleviate some of the burdens your loved ones will face as they grapple with absence. Although it is an unpleasant thought, the more attention you pay to the details now, the easier it will be for those who handle your estate to focus on the task at hand. If you are looking for an estate-planning law firm in St. Louis, you should consider these tips for making the right choice.
Consider a Referral
Not every firm will specialize in estate law, so check with your attorney before making any plans. Their firm may be able to give you a referral for another professional or friends and family might have experience with a certain firm.
Do Your Own Homework
Even though the Internet plays host to thousands of law firms, don’t rely on a directory for your information. Use third-party sites to vet potential choices, but pick up the phone and make direct inquiries at the office.
Check Their Credentials
While they would have to pass the bar exam to receive their practicing license, you can find endorsements through various offices or prior clients rather than an associational referral hotline. Check on what law school they graduated, as well as how long they have been practicing. All of these indicate the level of experience to expect.
Ensure Their Accountability
If a law firm carries malpractice insurance, it’s a good sign that they consider client accountability. Not all state require malpractice insurance, so retaining a firm that carries it is a huge benefit to you in the event of a mistake or misunderstanding.
Whether you are settling the affairs of a loved one or you are ready to establish your own plan for handling your affairs once deceased, the right estate lawyer will make the process easier. They can assist with drafting living wills, trusts, assist with probate concerns and offer insight on how to mitigate taxes on assets and property.