Estate Planning Attorney: Why, When, and How to Find One

Wondering if hiring an estate planning attorney is the right thing to do? Estate planning can indeed be a confusing and frustrating task if you are a high net worth or ultra high net worth individual with over $10 million worth of liquid assets.Successful estate planning not only requires you to understand complicated concepts but also stay on top of the constant changes happening in the industry. Navigating the entire process on your own can be challenging. Working with an expert who possesses in-depth knowledge of the matter and years of experience in the field may be your best bet.We recommend reading our exclusive financial advisor guide to learn what you should be looking for when seeking advice.



7 Secrets To High Net Worth Investment Management, Estate, Tax and Financial Planning


The insights you’ll discover from our published book will help you integrate a variety of wealth management tools with financial planning, providing guidance for your future security alongside complex financial strategies, so your human and financial capital will both flourish.

Clients frequently share with us how the knowledge gained from this book helped provide them tremendous clarity, shattering industry-pitched ideologies, while offering insight and direction in making such important financial decisions.

You should also reach out to our expert team at Pillar Wealth Management to learn about high net worth estate planning in detail.We have a wealth of experience working with affluent individuals with $5 to $500 million in investable wealth. Our professionals will work with your estate planning attorneyto devise a customized estate plan for you, taking care of your best interests at all costs.

What is the Purpose of an Estate Planning Attorney?

An estate planning attorney, also known as a probate attorney or an estate law attorney, is a licensed professional who deeply understands the state and federal laws. They can tell how these laws determine your estate’s value, inventory, distribution, and taxation after your death.

You can expect them to walk you through the probate process. Additionally, they may offer their services to assist you with the following:

– Creating a will

– Developing the list of beneficiaries

– Finding ways to reduce and avoid estate taxes

– Establishing a durable power of attorney and medical durable power of attorney

– Avoiding the probate court process

– Setting up trusts to protect your estate when you become incapacitated as well as after your death

Benefits of Hiring an Estate Planning Attorney

Estate planning warrantsextra attention and careful consideration. Even the smallest blunder can change the intent of your will or trust. It is always best to work with a professional attorneyin collaboration with a financial advisor to ensure a smooth, hassle-free process.

Here are a few benefits of hiring an estate planning attorney.

They Are Aware of the State Laws

State laws are very particular about what should be included in the will or trust.They also dictate if a financial power of attorney can serve as a personal representative, trustee, or attorney in fact. This person may or may not serve as a witness to your will or trust. The state laws also tell what formalities should be observed when signing the will or trust.

An estate planning attorney knows the ins and outs of the laws. They will guide you throughout the process, helping you avoid costly mistakes.

They Understand Complex Financial Situations

Working with an estate planning attorney will be a good idea if:

– You own one or multiple businesses

– You don’t have any children

– You have real estate properties in multiple states

– You’re in a second or later marriage

– You have a disabled family member

– You have problem or minor children

– You recently went through a divorce

– Your spouse or a family member recently died

– You want to donate a portion or all of your estate

– You possess substantial assets in 401(k)s or IRAs

– Your estate is taxable for federal or state estate tax purposes

These complex financial situations require you to seek counseling and assistance from an experienced estate planning attorney. They will help you create the necessary legal documents and ensure that your estate will be distributed among your beneficiariesexactly how you want it to.

They Offer Cost-Effective Solutions

You may be tempted to take the DIY route and use online forms for estate planning in order to save money. However, after your incapacitation or death, your family members may find out that a part of your will is invalid or won’t work as you had anticipated. They will then have to seek help from an expert estate planning attorney and spend thousands of dollars to fix your mistakes.

Working with an expert right from the beginning is always a smart decision. The choice is yours!

Get in touch with the Pillar Wealth Management team today to discuss how we will work with your attorney toensure the entire process is seamless and hassle-free.

estate planning attorney

When Should You Hire an Estate Planning Attorney?

An average American wanting to pass a small estate to one or two persons may not need the help of an estate planning attorney. But as an affluent individual with a complex financial situation, you must hire a professional lawyer to work with your financial advisor.

Both experts will work collaboratively to make your estate plan a success.Your financial advisor will find ways to protect your assets and grow your wealth. This is crucial for maximum financial security in the long run.Click here to access our guide on improving your portfolio performance for greater returns.

They will also devise personalized strategies to protect the interests of your loved ones and preserve inheritances.To learn more about protecting the estates of affluent families, don’t forget to read our book, The Art of Protecting Ultra-High Net Worth Portfolios and Estates – Strategies For Families Worth $25 Million To $500 Million.It will equip you with valuable knowledge and tools to create your desired legacy.

Additionally, a financial advisor will keep your beneficiary designations updated, review the estate planning documents, help you understand how life changes can impact your estate plan, explain the financial impact of your actions, and guide on what needs to be done right away in case a family member dies.

Most importantly, they can also help you find a qualified and experienced estate planning attorney you can trust.

Below are a few common situations where you should ask your financial advisor to recommend a lawyer.

– You’re an entrepreneur wanting to create a business succession plan

– You possess out-of-state assets or property

– You want to pass your assets to a non-citizen

– You wish to disinherit immediate family

– You have a blended family involving step-parents, half-siblings, or stepchildren

– You have a family member with special needs

– You want to set up an irrevocable trust

– Your Medicare payments are on someone else’s behalf

Here’s a beginner’s blueprint for choosing the right financial advisor for families worth $5 million to $500 million.

What Are the Average Fees of an Estate Planning Attorney?

State laws and local business practices may influence the fees of an estate planning attorney. Their qualifications and experience may also factor in.That being said, some attorneys may charge as little as $150 or $200 for preparing a simple will. However, for complex financial situations, experienced attorneys may charge an hourly rate of $250 or $300 on average.

You must inquire about the cost and fee structure of a professional in detail during the first meeting. Generally, estate planning attorneys don’t charge for an initial consultation.However, don’t be surprised if some of them do charge a small fee.

Flat Fee

After the first meeting, if you decide that a particular lawyer is right for you,they will charge you a flat fee for the meeting as well as for the preparation, review, and signing of basic documents.

While some attorneys include the cost of helping you with the funding of your living trust in their flat fees, others charge a separate fee based on the value of the property you want to move into the ownership of your trust.

With a flat fee, you’ll know the total cost of all the services you require beforehand.

Our expert financial managers are at your service to help you make the right decision. Let’s talk now

Hourly Rates

An attorney’s flat fee reflects their standard hourly rate and the number of hours they will be investing in your case.When a professional quotes a flat fee, don’t forget to ask about their hourly rate.

For example, if the flat fee of an attorney is $6,000 and their hourly rate is $200,you can expect their firm to spend around 30 hours on your estate plan.

Generally, the more experienced an attorney is, the higher they will charge per hour. You may think 25-30 hours is a lot to spend on your case, but as an expert, they will know exactly how much time it will take to discuss your financial situation, determine your unique estate planning needs, answer your questions, draft a solid estate plan, review the documents with you, help you sign the plan, and find your trust if you’ve opted for this service as well.

Helpful Tips

First and foremost, you must assess your mindset related to financial security before reaching out to an estate planning attorney. If you want to save a significant portion of your wealth for your loved ones, you must learn to find the right balance between security and portfolio performance. While short-term gains may lure you to take a risk and prioritize performance, always go for opportunities that will bring you long-term benefits with minimum risks.Read all about the essential shifts you need to make to secure your financial future as a high net worth or ultra high net worth individual in our guide.

Second, you must consult with multiple attorneys before choosing the right expert for your individual needs. You can set up telephone interviews before meeting them in person to save your time and energy.

Lastly, if an attorney charges significantly higher than others, don’t hesitate to ask why. Some professionals who charge less offer estate plans in bulk. You’d want to work with an expert who creates high-quality, personalized plans for each client and is truly invested in protecting their interests for life.

Contact Pillar Wealth Management for Expert Estate Planning Attorney Recommendations

Boasting a combined experience of more than three decades,Pillar Wealth Management has earned a reputation among affluent individuals and familiesfor delivering exceptional wealth management services.We work with people who have liquid investable assets worth $5 to $500 millionto secure their financial future.

Based on your unique estate planning needs, we can recommend a trustworthy estate planning attorneywho will keep your interests above everything else.Our financial advisors will work with the attorney todevise effective estate protection strategies for you so that you can save plenty of money on estate taxes and ensure that your wealth goes to the people you care about.With us, you can expect24/7 support, guidance, and assistance with critical financial decisions. Our experts possess in-depth knowledge of the nuances of high net worth estate planning and will share valuable insights with you at every step of the process.

To get financial advice from an unbiased professional and protect your wealth for future generations, start a conversation today.

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