Estate planning is an emotionally challenging task at every step of the process. Whether you are writing your own will, helping an older relative plan their estate, or serving as the executor of the estate of a deceased loved one, you must deal with all the feelings you have about your own death or that of someone close to you.
At the same time, planning your estate requires that you share sensitive information, such as personal accounts, which can create a feeling of vulnerability and apprehension for anyone. Additionally, when you’re the executor of someone else’s estate, there are often strict deadlines you must meet when it comes to filing paperwork, closing accounts, paying off debts, deciding on or overseeing how assets will be distributed, and much more.
Find an Objective and Compassionate Estate Planning Partner
Those who are in the process of making their own estate plans may be filled with anxieties or worries about their family. For executors, the primary feelings are probably more connected to the shock of having lost a loved one. Either way, it is important at this time to know that you have an estate planning partner who can bring an objective eye to the situation. Ideally, this will be someone who can assess matters from the outside and offer impartial guidance when you need it.
It is also important that you have an estate planning partner who can recognize and support you through the challenging feelings you may have during the process. That’s why, when you are in the process of choosing an estate planning professional, their ability to demonstrate compassion, empathy, and genuine care for their clients is just as important as the qualifications and experience they have in the field.
Questions to Ask Yourself When Choosing an Estate Planning Attorney
The processes of creating your estate plan, serving as an executor for a will, and going through probate may all require you to work for a considerable amount of time with your lawyer. As such, it is vital that you feel that you are working with someone you feel compatible and comfortable with. Some questions you may want to ask yourself include:
- Does the attorney’s way of communicating work for you?
- Do they seem accommodating and flexible in ways that your situation will require?
- Are you comfortable in their presence?
- Do they seem genuinely interested and engaged when you speak with them about your situation?
- Are they willing to allow you to make certain adjustments, such as doing some aspects of estate planning on your own, in order to keep the process within your budget?
It is also important to remember to have compassion for yourself. Emotions may sometimes take you by surprise and often at what can feel like inopportune times. Having an estate planning attorney by your side who can bring a sense of empathy, care, and compassion to the process can make all the difference in the world when you are taking on the challenges of the process.
No matter what stage you are at in the planning process, our attorneys are here to offer guidance and support. If you have questions or need assistance, simply contact us to schedule a consultation.
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