There’s a few easy ways to find a trust attorney. Our clients have found our firm in a couple different ways. Here’s how you can find a trust attorney to draft your living trust.
The Most Popular Ways to Find a Trust Attorney
Here’s our top methods people use to find a trust attorney:
Referral from Family
This is probably the most popular way to find and hire an attorney. Why? Because hiring an attorney can be a little intimidating. The thought of hiring an attorney can sound like there is some kind of trouble. The cost can be high (depending on the problem).
To feel less intimidated, people ask their family, “Who did your living trust?” This is a great place to start. But just because your uncle hired his attorney doesn’t mean his attorney is who YOU should hire.
First, you’re the boss when you hire an attorney, but you work as a team. If your attorney doesn’t communicate well with you then how can they make your estate plan!?
Second, not all attorneys who draft estate plans are estate planning attorneys. There are tools that attorneys can use to draft an estate plan (our firm uses custom plans). But not all attorneys know how those tools work or what the outcome in court may be with the trusts they draft. Make sure that your trust attorney has experience in both drafting trusts and defending them in probate court.
It is good to get the name of an estate planning attorney from your sister, but do a little more research to see if that attorney is right for you. A great way to research is to take advantage of a free consultation.
Free consultations to test communications
It is important to like the way your lawyer communicates with you. Not all of them will connect with you in the same way (if at all). And if you can’t communicate well with your attorney, you’ll get a plan that does not meet your needs when it matters most. I’ve had clients that were embarrassed to say that they had child who needed MediCal. If they didn’t disclose this, their child would have been disqualified. Good communication helped prevent a disaster down the road.
Once you get the name of a trust lawyer your best bet is to check their website and see if they offer free consultations. Usually the firm will mention their consultation policy right at the top of the page, like this one: free estate planning consultation.
I love to give free consultations because it is my opportunity to meet new people, showcase who I am, and demonstrate how I can help each unique family. Getting to know my clients is crucial because each plan is customized. What worked for your best friend likely won’t work for you. So I use the consultation to figure out exactly what is needed and explain to the client what they should expect.
Another great way to find an attorney is through an existing professional relationship. If you have a financial advisor then you already are working with someone you trust. Many of my clients come from financial advisors because the advisor recognizes the need to protect your family from uncertainty. So when your advisor calls you to chat about the stock market, why not ask which trust attorney she recommends?
Trust Attorney Near Me
Ah, Google. One of the reasons why people ask “how do I find a trust attorney” on Google is because there are so many listed. Just like asking your cousin which attorney she used to do her revocable family trust, Google will give you a good place to start. It shouldn’t take the place of actually doing a little research.
Take a look at the map for attorneys near you whose clients left a review. How many reviews do they have? Many don’t have any. If the firm has more than a few reviews then that is a good sign. Also, don’t shy away from a firm with less than a 5-star rating. It is impossible to please every person every time, after all. I invite all of my clients to leave a review so that I can hear how we’re doing.
You can also research an attorney on the State Bar of California’s website. Did the attorney have any discipline recently? Maybe that attorney was doing just fine when your sister used him ten years ago, but how is that attorney doing now? Formal Attorney discipline is available online.
Facebook is another way that clients have found my firm. If you belong to a neighborhood group, you can ask them for some names of firms they have used. But again, do your research. Do they offer a free consultation? How are their reviews? Do they focus on estate planning or do they dabble in it?
How do I Find the Best Trust Attorney for Me?
How do you find the best trust attorney for you? Start by asking your family and friends who they used. Ask other professionals you’ve hired who they would recommend. Then, do a little research to find out how their reviews are and whether they have had any issues with the state bar. Then, set up a consultation and see if they communicate well with you.
Hiring an attorney can be intimidating, but hopefully these tips can help. And if you like this post and need a trust attorney, give us a call or book a free consultation online.