How to Choose the Proper Highland Park Estate Administration Lawyer

by | Mar 29, 2016 | Law

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Estate planning is an aspect of law that is commonly dreaded or even avoided by prospective clients. The reason for this is that planning for one’s death is not the happiest subject. That being said, estate planning is essential in order to ensure that your proper wishes are carried out for the possessions that you worked your entire life for. In order to ensure that your estate is properly taken care of, it is wise to hire a Highland Park estate administration lawyer.

Qualities to Look for in an Estate Lawyer

When hiring an estate administration lawyer, it is important that your lawyer has either a JD or an LL.M with a focus in tax law. Tax law is a crucial aspect of estate planning because it affects the amount of money that you can gift your heirs without being taxed. A proper estate lawyer should be able to navigate the taxes appropriately so that you spend as little on taxes as possible.

The estate lawyer that you are considering hiring should have experience both drafting wills and serving as a trustee. Many attorneys are included as trustees so that they can be trusted to distribute the assets effectively without prejudice. This is an essential function that will allow the attorney to protect your estate adequately.

What to Avoid When Choosing an Estate Lawyer

Your prospective estate administration lawyer should not have any prior conflicts of interest with clients. This is paramount when using an attorney’s services for estate planning. Since the attorney has access to distribute funds from the trust, they can also be tempted to mismanage it. If an attorney has a prior record of this, look elsewhere.

When considering possible conflicts of interest, be sure that the attorney is not representing any of the intended beneficiaries of your trust. Additionally, be sure that the attorney is not representing any of your competitors if you have a business. If the attorney fails to disclose any of these conflicts of interest to you, you should report them for malpractice.

Make sure that your estate administration lawyer keeps their clients’ funds separate from the funds of their law practice. This is quite important because if your prospective attorney is comingling funds, they could be sanctioned by the ethics board. As a trust administrator, they are entitled to take a pay check from the trust, but they are not allowed to use trust funds for any other payments to their practice. If an attorney has any complaints regarding this, do not hire them under any circumstances.

Finding the right lawyer to administer your estate is a delicate subject. It is usually best to get a trusted referral in order to have the best possible representation for your life’s work.

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