Ethics and Estate Planning

Is your attorney thinking about your case or his/her bottom line? How do you know for sure? When it comes to estate planning, and drafting your will, trust, powers of attorney, etc., you want to make sure you’re getting a plan that is based on your best interests.

Here are a few points to consider, red flags, and questions to ask to make sure your hiring an ethical attorney.

  1. Are you meeting with the actual attorney who will be drafting your documents? If not, that is a red flag, and the firm/company could be breaking the law.
  2. Ask if the attorney actually drafts the documents or not. Sometimes it is ok for a paralegal to draft part of the document, but some attorneys do not draft at all, which is a problem.
  3. Ask if you’ll get to review the documents or not before you sign them. Also, will the attorney take the time to answer questions you have about the documents?
  4. Has the attorney actually provided reasoning behind why he or she is putting in place a particular plan? If the attorney recommends a trust, why? If a will, why? You should know exactly why you are getting certain documents and plans.
  5. The attorney should learn about your family, the dynamics, unique circumstances, and more. If they don’t inquire about your family and try to learn about you, that’s a red flag.
  6. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. If the attorney doesn’t want to spend the time with you to answer your questions, you should probably see someone else.