Estate Planning Attorneys prepare a seniors assets to be managed in their retirement years and ultimately, disbursed upon death. They can also be called probate lawyers. Many EPAs are also elder law experts, and can more broadly represent seniors throughout their aging years.
- Mediate family negotiations on the disbursement of financial assets and property.
- Serve as executors of estates.
- Handle disputes between beneficiaries and representatives of the estate.
- Experts om writing wills and establishing trusts.
- Administer trusts by being made a trustee.
- Address issues with IRAs, pensions, the IRS, 401(k)s, or credit accounts.
- Track the estate’s financial records and accounts.
- Establish powers of attorney so designated individuals can act on the behalf of the senior, in case he or she becomes incapacitated.
If you are the executor of a loved ones’ estate, and you have questions or conflicts with the heirs of the estate, you are best suited to seek out a Probate or Estate Administration Attorney.
Look for a member in good standing of one or both of the Governing Associations:
- American Association of Estate Planning Attorneys
- American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys
- Make sure a Power of Attorney is in place.
- Record how the financial assets are to be distributed and to whom.
- A representative or an executor should be chosen.
- Know exactly what you are looking for the attorney do and/or manage on your behalf.
- Research the attorney’s experience in the area of concern.
- How long has the attorney been in practice? How long has he or she done estate planning?
- What percentage of the attorney’s practice is devoted to estate planning or elder law?
- How much training has the attorney had, and from what organizations?
- How large is the firm? How many attorneys will be working on your case?
- Will a paralegal who is familiar with your case be available when the attorney is busy?
- How much will the retainer be? What are the rates and fees? Are flexible payment plans available?
- What is the attorney’s experience regarding the specific matter with which you are concerned?