Choosing a qualified attorney to represent you is a stressful task, especially when you are attempting to create a will and plan the distribution of your estate. The lawyer you retain will ultimately help you make plans that will later affect your spouse, children, and other beneficiaries. In order to expedite the process while ensuring that your beneficiaries have clear instructions, it is important to spend time carefully selecting an estate lawyer. The ideal estate lawyer should be someone who is an authority in his or her field and someone with whom you feel comfortable discussing sensitive matters. The following are a few tips for choosing an estate planning lawyer.

Focus on Experience 

Estate planning is a highly specialized field with constantly changing laws that must be adhered to in order to create a valid will. Focusing on attorneys who dedicate themselves to estate planning and trusts is the best way to ensure that you retain a professional who truly knows the field. While an attorney who offers estate planning in conjunction with other legal services may seem like an adequate choice, it is in your best interest to consult law firms that focus on estate planning. Law firms that only offer estate-related services can give you the guidance and expertise necessary for protecting your estate.

Choose a Trustworthy Attorney

The attorney you choose will be the person your family consults after your passing with questions or to discuss the distribution of your estate. Consulting an attorney who you trust will provide you with the peace of mind that comes with knowing your family will have quality counsel during a stressful period. Prior to meeting with an estate lawyer, spend time verifying the firm, researching his or her professional history, and reviewing complaints or testimonials provided by past clients. After scheduling your consultation, prepare a list of questions that you have about the attorney’s history along with whatever questions you have pertaining to your estate. Forging a strong professional bond with your estate lawyer will make it easier to discuss uncomfortable aspects of your estate while providing you with the assurance of knowing you have found an attorney worthy of your family’s trust.

Be Realistic About Fees

Cost is the primary concern for most adults who need to consult an attorney. No one wants to pay more than he or she can afford, but it is important to have a realistic expectation about the costs associated with retaining an estate lawyer. Do not expect to receive a quote until after your first consultation, since every estate planning scenario is different, making it impossible for an attorney to provide a quote before discussing your needs with you.

Consult an Attorney

MMZ LAW understands that choosing the right estate lawyer is extremely important to you and your family. We are here to provide answers to your questions along with the help you need in securing your estate for your family. Contact us today to schedule a confidential appointment at our conveniently located Claremont, California office. We are nearby Upland and Rancho Cucamonga. We service Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties. Give us call at (909) 256-6702 and schedule your FREE consultation.



341 W. 1st St. Suite 100
Claremont, CA 91711

MARIVEL M. ZIALCITA is the founder of MMZ LAW, A Professional Corporation, where she practices in the areas of trust and estate, elder law, special needs, conservatorship, trust administration and probate. Ms. Zialcita is a frequent speaker on trust and estate matters and holds memberships in the State Bar of California, Trust and Estate Section, The San Bernardino County Bar Association, Wealth Counsel and Elder Counsel. She currently assists in the pro bono legal services program at the James L. Brulte Senior Center in Rancho Cucamonga, California. She is based in Claremont but assists clients throughout Southern California.

This information is educational information only and not legal advice.