A common misconception about estate planning is that it is about planning for the end when, in fact, it is about planning for change. Anyone’s life can turn on a dime. Marriages start and end all the time; businesses flourish and fail; children are born and lives are cut short. A well-structured estate plan keeps you and your loved ones covered through all of these changes—but only if it is kept up-to-date. This is why not only does every adult need an estate plan, but every adult needs an estate planning attorney that can be relied on to accompany you through all of life’s twists and turns.
Three Essential Considerations When Choosing an Attorney
There are three steps to estate planning and accordingly, there are three essential considerations that you want to keep in mind when choosing an attorney to guide you through the process.
The first is ensuring you feel at ease discussing your assets, financial position, family structure, and goals with your attorney. After all, most adults begin their estate plan the moment they commit to a partner and start a family. These are times of rapid change and snowballing responsibility which means it is important to have an attorney who not only executes your plan but ensures nothing is overlooked and all aspects are well-understood.
Having a plan is only the start. Keeping your plan updated is just as important. As you age, your life grows and your needs change. Loved ones come and go and your assets increase in value and complexity. Estate planning legislation also changes with each election cycle and wholly unforeseeable global events like the Covid-19 pandemic can disrupt well-laid plans in the blink of an eye. You want to make sure your estate planning attorney is attentive to all of these possibilities and can be relied upon to notify you of needed updates even when you might overlook their necessity.
Estate planning’s final stage is when all of your hard work springs into action. Every one of us will one day die and when that happens, we want to know our loved ones are well-cared for. This does not just mean carefully executing an estate plan and ensuring your family understands your needs and wishes, it also means leaving everyone in the best possible hands. Your estate planning attorney will be instrumental in ensuring your plan is carried out as intended and will likely work closely with your family toward this end. Thus, you not only want to choose an attorney you look forward to working with throughout your life but one you trust to work well with your family, too.
Flexibility is King
An attorney that meets all of these criteria will be, above all, flexible. After all, not only must they accompany you through life’s many stages of growth, they also must adapt to your evolving needs and goals as well as, eventually, to your absence.
At the Estate Planning Law Firm of Georgia, proof of our ability to adapt and grow is in the pudding. When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, we quickly pivoted our operation to accommodate parking lot signings, Zoom meetings, virtual workshops, and much more. When working with you, we promise to be just as agile, both in the short and long term.
Contact Attorney James M. Miskell