As if moving to a new state wasn’t burdensome enough, relocating almost always means having to find a new estate-planning attorney.
An article on the website about.com by wills and estate-planning expert offers some advice to make this part of settling down elsewhere easier.
“Are you looking for a new estate planning attorney because you’ve moved to a new state?” Garber writes. “Then the first place to check is with your current estate planning attorney because chances are he or she will know one or more estate planning attorneys who practice in your new state of residence. If not, then … ask any local family members, new neighbors, new business contacts, or your new accountant, banker and/or financial advisor for referrals to an estate planning attorney in your area since chances are one or more of them will be able to give you a referral.”
Garber, a former estate-planning attorney who switched to the financial services industry, offers other ways of vetting a professional to help with this important aspect of life.
“Your estate planning attorney’s credentials are essential to insuring that your will, trust, power of attorney and advance medical directive will work as you expect them to in your state of residence as well as in any other state where you own real estate. Therefore, it is important to find out if the prospective estate-planning attorney is licensed to practice law in your state and in any other state where you own real estate. In fact, if you do own real estate in different states, then chances are you will need to consult with an estate planning attorney in each state since the laws governing wills, trusts, powers of attorney, advance health care directives and real estate vary greatly from state to state.”
One further way of checking the bona fides or a potential attorney to take over estate planning, Garber advises, is to ask to speak to other clients.
“It still surprises me how few prospective clients ask to speak with satisfied clients,” she writes. “Nothing speaks louder than the words of a satisfied client, so ask your list of prospective estate planning attorneys to provide you with at least two satisfied clients you can contact. While of course the attorney is only going to give you the names of happy clients, this will certainly put the attorney on the spot to treat you in the same way that he or she treated the happy clients.”