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How to choose the right estate planning attorney

For those in Oklahoma who have made the decision to complete an estate planning package, the next step involves selecting an attorney to help guide that process. Choosing the right attorney is a serious matter, as he or she will play an important role in creating a comprehensive estate planning solution. Often, individuals have no idea where to turn to find a good attorney and are left wondering how to move forward in the overall process.

One of the best ways to find an estate planning professional is to make use of one's existing network. A good place to start is by asking an attorney who has assisted in other areas of law for a recommendation. Attorneys often maintain connections with other legal professionals, even in other areas of practice. This allows them to provide guidance to clients who are in need of legal services that are outside of the scope of what the attorney is able to provide. Another great approach is to ask friends and family who they have used to create an estate plan, and what their experience was with their chosen attorney.  

Once a short list of names has been compiled, it is time to schedule an initial consultation with the top choices. During this meeting, be prepared with a list of questions, as well as basic information concerning the full range of individual or family assets. This is also the time to ask about the timeframe that will be necessary to complete the estate planning process, as well as the estimated cost of legal services.

During the initial meeting, Oklahoma residents should never be afraid to listen to their gut and select the attorney that feels like the best possible fit. This is a professional that will collect a great deal of personal and financial information during the estate planning process. It is important that clients are able to feel comfortable discussing these matters in depth. In many cases, the professional relationship between the attorney and client is one that will endure for many years to come, which is why it is so important to find the right match from the outset.

Source: cattlenetwork.com, "Estate Planning: Choosing an attorney", Heather Gessner, Aug. 19, 2015

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