5 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Houston Estate Planning Attorney

5 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Houston Estate Planning Attorney

estate planning law Infograph Before you get in touch with an estate planning attorney in order to get your legal and financial affairs in order, the first thing to accomplish is call the agencies of the estate planning attorney in Houston who you will meet with to handle your estate plan. This is a great chance for a first stage assessment. To identify the best lawyer for you, pay attention to how the phones are responded to. Will you have the ability to speak to the lawyer, or are you taken care of by some generic message center that is not located in Houston, Texas?

When you do talk with somebody on the phone be sure to ask what will occur at the initial conference. Preferably, the intent of the very first conference with your Estate Planning Attorney is not simply just to be familiar with him or her, but to provide you with some instruction and suggestions on the best estate plans for Houston that will benefit you and your household. You wish for to|wish to} leave this meeting with a clear action course of action for what your next actions are, in addition to the lawyer’s recommendations for ensuring that your affairs will be set up in the best way possible for you and your household.

Second, you want to find out particular information,

such as, how frequently ought to you examine your legal documents, and what occurs if you want to make changes later. Far too often, families put in place legal documents and they believe excellent that’s done now. (” I do not have to consider that anymore”). Then, the end of their life comes, or a crisis pops up, and their household learns that the documents are out of date, and particular updates would have strongly benefited the whole family resolve the ongoing situation.

The estate plan that is out of date or does not carry out effectively for alterations which may have been just recently changed in Houston. Why does this occur? Because some legal counsels are not setting the right expectations for their clients. The truth of the matter is legal documents are not “set it and forget it.” Your wills, estate planning documents, and trust business documents really need to be gone over routinely, and up-dated throughout your life. You want to choose a estate planning attorney who can present you advice for reviewing your documents routinely, and who uses a program to provide you with continuing recommendations on an ongoing basis.

The third thing to understand prior to hiring a estate planning attorney is can they help you to make clever choices…

about things like purchasing insurance, monetary and retirement preparation and helping you get your monetary home in order? Your personal lawyer can and must be able to guide you in making the clever decisions, not just about things like legal documents; but, also about basic assistance on monetary matters, taxes and getting your financial resources arranged according to federal and Texas guidelines.

This does not suggest that your lawyer needs to be certified to sell insurance or monetary items or practice every sort of law, simply that they have a breadth of experience and understanding, so that they can be a relied on consultant to you on these concerns, helping you prevent unfortunate mistakes.

Fourth, what sorts of things can you put in place to guarantee that your kids will forever be taken care of…

by people you would like as their caretakers, in the way you desire, and will not lose their inheritance to predators or financial institutions?

Today, there are strategies in legal preparation that allow you to have the maximum assurance that your kids will not ever be left in the care of any individual you would not prefer, even in the short-term, while the authorities are figuring out what to do. Be sure that your lawyer offers an all-encompassing children’s security plan for the care of minor kids, providing ID cards for your wallet and instructions for your caretakers, listing out the names and numbers of local people who have legal authority to take care of your kids, if you are not able to.

Fifth, what set of legal estate planning documents best fit your current household situation?

Some families have more complex preparation concerns to handle than others. Numerous kinds of concerns should be inquired about to help figure out what preparing documents best fit your needs:

Will you need a trust created in the course of your lifetime, or is that much better taken care of in you will?

Do you have any special needs family members that need to be provided for?

How steady are the marital relationships of your married kids?

Are you expecting to include members to your household through birth or adoption?

Are you expecting any large expenses or inheritances?

Questions For Your Estate Planning Attorney.

If you are preparing to meet an estate planning attorney in Houston, there are a few concerns you may ask to determine if that prospective estate planning lawyer is right for you.

Are you experienced in managing estate planning matters?

Proceed with an estate planning attorney solely if he/she returns “yes” to this question. An estate planning lawyer will recognize with current law and will have the essential strategic knowledge to thoroughly prepare your documents in the most effective process possible.

For how long have you been practicing?

Obviously, you should aim to choose the most skilled lawyer possible, one who has actually seen his prepared documents work after a client’s death. There is no substitute for experience. It’s also essential that you feel confident speaking with this lawyer. After all, you will be talking about some of your most private and private concerns.

Do you effectively execute the plan?

Some legal counsels merely draw up estate planning documents, while others also execute the associated trusts and residential or commercial property transfers. It’s usually more efficient to keep a lawyer in the latter classification, who can assure that the correct assets are transferred into the trust.

Can you help me develop a comprehensive estate plan that includes wills, trusts, survivorship agreements and transfer on death documents?

You might have an option of multiple kinds of wills, trusts, survivorship agreements and kinds of transfer on death documents, and comprehensive estate strategies can include all of these. So it’s essential that your estate planning lawyer is educated in these areas. You may desire your estate planning lawyer to help you comprehend the benefits and drawbacks of each estate preparation tool and suggest the ones that might be right for you.

How do you charge?

Many estate planning attorney charge flat charges for certain standard services, like preparing a will or a trust, instead of billing by the hour. Some do both, where they charge a fixed cost for certain standard services, then charge a hourly rate for certain services that are special to your situation. In any case, it’s makes good sense to ask about payment methods ahead of time to prevent surprises.

How do you feel about revocable living trusts?

Putting properties into a revocable living trust can prevent the time consuming and costly probate process. But this might not be the best move for everyone, especially in Houston Texas, since here the probate process is reasonably basic. Sadly, some legal counsels recommend revocable living trusts merely so they can charge more. There might be other, easier and more cost effective methods to satisfy your goals.

What other concerns do you attend to?

As life span increases, so do the probabilities of physical and psychological disability concerns. Estate preparing lawyers should help clients get ready for the possibility of temporary or long-term disability or dementia by drafting medical and long lasting powers of attorney, living wills, and statement of guardianship documents.


This is simply a sample of the kinds of concerns that should help guide the choice on what documents best fit your needs. Asking these concerns and hearing the right responses prior to you engage a lawyer to deal with your wills, trusts, estate planning or business in Houston, Texas will make sure that you put in place legal planning for your whole family and your organization that will work when you are in need of it.

Nick C. Caridas

Estate Planning Attorney 

Serving -city-, Texas


We serve Houston and the surrounding areas, including:

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