Finding someone who will help you to decide what will happen to your personal property or business once you die is an important but challenging task. Relying on the law to provide a default scheme is often frustrating and involves a lot of hefty tax consequences for your loved ones. You need an estate lawyer to plan things ahead of time. Here are tips on how to get one.
Consider your needs
Understanding your needs will help you to determine whether you need an attorney. You do not require an attorney if you have a small real estate or personal property. In this case, you can use a document kit to plan the estate on your own. If you have a big real estate, business or retirement and investment accounts, you might require professional legal assistance. An estate lawyer will help with transfering business ownership and personal property between the listed beneficiaries once you die. He will also oversee all the sensitive business transactions.
Ask for recommendations
You can ask your friends, relatives or workmates for possible recommendations. Make sure that the people you ask have had an experience with an estate lawyer. A person who liked his attorney’s services will be more than willing to recommend him to you. However, make sure you ask only those you trust.
Check the local bar association webpage
Visit the Canadian Bar Association’s website and check whether the prospective lawyer is listed there. The bar association has a list of members from all areas in the country. The members are listed only after they prove beyond reasonable doubts that they can offer legal services within the set standards and professional ethics. You can take advantage of the referral service available on the website to get a lawyer near your area. The service enables you to meet with the lawyer after you answer some general questions.
Search for certified specialists
The legal landscape is full of lawyers from different fields. The fact that someone practices law does not mean he can satisfy your estate planning needs. You require someone who is specialized in estate planning. There are certified specialists in each area of estate law. Check the bar’s website to see if the lawyer you have in mind has a specialist certification. You can also visit the website of the attorney check if he mentions his certifications.
Interview the prospective lawyers
You need to come up with a list of three to five lawyers who you think qualify for the job. Schedule personal interviews with them. You can either go to their offices or call. Ask them about the number of years they have been practicing estate law. They must also be in a position to show you some of their previous works and references.