Planning your estate is an extensive process that can be stressful. Many legal documents required to prepare estate planning can be difficult, including the power of attorneys and wills or trusts. To save yourself time and effort and make sure everything is done correctly, consider hiring a professional estate planning lawyer to help you through the process.
A professional estate planning lawyer will bring years of experience in the management of real estate planning matters under California real estate law. Hiring the right helper to plan your assets and finances can ensure your finances are secure so your family can take advantage of them. Although estate planning attorneys can help you with a variety of matters, their primary goal is to provide the best possible assistance in preparing your financial estate. This way, you can have peace of mind knowing that you have been prepared for your family and that they will not have to grapple with estate issues once you leave.
A trusted estate planning lawyer can help you write your will and will and set up a trust if required. They can also ensure that estate and inheritance taxes are kept to a minimum by avoiding any delays in the filing of documents. Even after your death, your attorney can continue to help by making sure the person on duty will eventually pass your property on to the correct beneficiary. An estate planning lawyer can also oversee the probate process to prevent any problems or mistakes.
Planning an estate can be an emotionally stressful process, making it difficult to make a sound decision. Therefore, a responsible and trustworthy estate planning lawyer must help you prepare a living will, assign a power of attorney, or prepare any type of advance directive. Your solicitor should be your legal guide to make this process easy and comfortable for you. Here are some important things that you should consider when hiring an estate planning lawyer in California.
Choosing the Right Estate Planning Lawyer
You should get a referral from the State Bar of California to find the best estate planning lawyer. You can also consult a financial advisor or seek the help of friends and family members to come up with a curated list of the best real estate planning attorneys in California. Note that estate planning attorneys may not have any specific certification or letter to distinguish them from personal injury attorneys or car accident attorneys. Instead, they often refer to themselves as experts in real estate planners. You may want to find an attorney with primary practice experience handling estate planning matters.
See also: What Does a Real Estate Attorney Do?
There are some certifications though, which even financial advisors or accountants can attain to practice estate law. These may include:
- Accredited Estate Planner – This accreditation is awarded by the National Association of Real Estate Planners and Boards. It can be done by valid underwriters, certified public accountants, certified financial advisors, as well as licensed attorneys. To obtain the certification, the individual must have at least 5 years of experience in real estate planning, have completed 2 graduate-level courses of the American College of Financial Services and must have completed at least 30 hours of continuing education for 2 years, of which a minimum of 15 hours for estate planning.
- Chartered Trust and Estate Planner – This certificate is awarded by the American Academy of Financial Management. To get this recognition, the individual must have degrees in finance, tax, financial services, accounting or law. In addition, individuals with an MBA, Ph.D., CPA, MS or JD degree from an accredited school or US institution may also obtain a certificate. Furthermore, the individual must complete a minimum of 5 approved related courses, annual certification training and continuing education to be certified in real estate law practice.
- Certified Trust and Financial Advisor – This designation is awarded by the American Banking Association in partnership with the Certified Banking Institute. To obtain the certificate, the individual must have at least 3 years of experience in financial management, must complete an approved asset management training program and must complete at least 45 hours of continuing education Within 3 years. They must also have a signed letter of recommendation and a signed statement of ethics in order to be CTFA certified.
Whether or not you choose a specifically accredited attorney, the most important thing to keep in mind when hiring an attorney is to make sure they are easy to do. You will spend a lot of time with a lawyer, so they should be sensitive to your life choices and respect your final decision. At the same time, however, they must be able to give clear and plausible explanations of why or why you shouldn’t plan your estate in a certain way. Your solicitor should also be proficient enough to provide insightful inputs to your estate planning, while also ensuring that you feel comfortable throughout the process.
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