Finding a Good Estate Planning Lawyer or Financial Advisor

By: Tom Gallagher
Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Finding the right, qualified estate planning lawyer or financial advisor doesn’t have to be as hard as it sounds. When working out end of life decisions, especially pertaining to wills, having a professional to help guide you through the jungle of red tape is a very welcome step to consider. These pros are well-versed in the ins and outs of the industry and are aware of all the little, easily overlooked things that you need to focus on. 

 

Finding a Financial Planner 

When it comes to your finances, you want someone in charge who is properly qualified and knows what they’re doing. A good financial planner will assess your financial need and help you make sound investments based on both your short- and long-term goals. 

Your first step is looking for a CFP (certified financial planner). This designation is given to trained professionals who are more than capable of ensuring your financial safety and that of your loved ones should the worst happen. Next up, their fee structure should also be a huge determining factor.

A flat rate might sound like a good short term call, but there’s a good chance that someone who earns based on a commission will be more prepared to steer you in the right direction. When the amount that they make is tied directly to what they can do for you it also provides a welcome incentive to increase your portfolio’s wealth. 

Last, but not least, read the fine print when it comes to anything that you’re putting your name on. A CFP who properly outlines their fiduciary obligations to their clients is infinitely more likely to be a straight shooter with your best interests at heart. 

While you can manage all of this by yourself, it does help in many cases to have a professional at least look over your portfolio and help you make a more educated choice. As we mentioned, there are a lot of simple tricks that CFPs pick up along the way that could be really beneficial for you. 

 

Finding an Estate Planning Attorney 

Estate planning attorney’s play just a much of a role here as a financial planner. They help you draft and establish living trusts, help with any relevant taxes and ensure that the effects the pose are lessened after you or a loved one passed away. They are also instrumental in ensuring your savings go to your beneficiaries and not unscrupulous creditors. 

On that note, if you are already working with a CFP who you get along well with and trust, their opinion on who to turn to when seeking an estate planning attorney is enormous. Financial planners who have your best interests at heart and take their role seriously will always have a close relationship with one or more estate planning attorneys and this relationship could be just what you need.

If you don’t already have a financial planner then your next step should be to reach out to any accountants or other attorneys you know or work with. They should have a solid sense of where to begin your search even if they can’t ultimately make a proper referral.

Barring any clear recommendations from these professionals, your local bar association will always have a solid list available for you to browse through. In smaller communities we recommend also talking to a representative at your local probate court to help narrow down your search. Remember when looking for both a financial planner and estate planning attorney that you always need to complete your due diligence. They will potentially be in charge of incredibly important and personal matters to you and should be chosen carefully. 

If you have any further questions for us or are in need of direction with regard to choosing the right estate planning lawyer or financial planner for your needs, please do not hesitate to get in touch. Thomas Gallagher is here for you and we will happily assist you with anything you may require.

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