Does the Attorney Focus on Estate Planning? There are many attorneys that say that they do estate planning. And of course there are many that do. The real question to ask however is do they practice exclusively in this area of the law? Just as there are doctors that specialize in certain areas of medicine such as general practice, cardiology or oncology, there are attorneys that are generalists and ones that limit their practices to a specific area of the law. The benefit to this is that the attorney is much more likely to be abreast of the current law and issues that surround that practice area. They are also more likely to correctly identify areas that could be problems down the road if the proper planning is not done.
Does the Attorney Carry Malpractice Insurance? Does the attorney hold a legal malpractice insurance policy? This is a sign of accountability. Anyone can make a mistake and you should not make the mistake of hiring an attorney who does not have malpractice insurance. Remember, in many states, an attorney is not required to carry malpractice insurance. Dont get burned by an attorney who does not think enough about his or her clients to carry malpractice insurance. Also note that attorneys that are incorporated (often signified by the letters P.C. or A.P.C. after their firm name) must maintain malpractice insurance in the state of California as mandated by the California State Bar Association. Ask What Law School the Attorney Attended : Just like any other school, law schools that are harder to get into have higher standards and only accept the best students. There are four (4) tiers in the law school ranking system with the first tier being at the top and hardest to get into. Ask the attorney where he or she went to law school.
Decide whether you need an attorney. If you own very little real estate or personal property, you may be able to use a document kit and plan your estate on your own. However, if you own real estate, have retirement or investment accounts, or own your own business, you should seek professional legal assistance.
If money is an issue, it may be possible for you to find an attorney who is willing to consult with you on a few limited issues, or to review documents you’ve drafted yourself.
If you decide to consult an attorney, compile documents and information about your property and assets, and think about what is likely to happen in the coming years, how much your property would potentially be worth, and who you want to have ownership or control over it.
The types and quantity of assets you have will in part determine both what kind of attorney you should look for and how much that attorney will charge you to draft a plan for your estate.
Looking for a Sacramento estate planning attorney ? The Law Offices of Brian D. Russ is a full-service law firm serving clients throughout the Sacramento region in estate planning and general litigation support. Brian earned a Masters of Public Policy from the Panetta Institute for Public Policy at California State University Monterey Bay (go Otters!), a Bachelor of Arts from UC Davis (go Aggies!), and an Associate of Arts from Las Positas Community College (go Hawks!).
Brian has many published works, including:
Lobbyists Are People Too, and They Should Be Free to Contribute to Their Local Legislative Races
AB 1301: An Attempt to Eliminate Persistent Voter Discrimination
All Wrapped Up and Nowhere to Gogo: Wrap Contracts Meet the Wrapture
A Case for Indexing the Minimum Wage in California: An Analysis of Indexed Minimum Wage Policies in Santa Fe, NM and San Francisco, CA
The California State Assembly: Where the People Dont Matter On the Campaign Financing of Assembly Candidates and the Puzzling Lack of Public Outcry. Call or text me today to discuss your situation: (916) 750-5155. Or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.