The Livens Law Firm

Estate planning should be managed by an experienced professional

Estate planning for Texas residents requires experienced professional assistance. The process goes beyond the preparation of a simple will. Instead, estate planning entails a number of legal instruments and strategic planning decisions that must be geared to the special financial needs of the individual or married couple.

It is important to find experienced, knowledgeable estate planning professionals in order to assure a comprehensive and effective plan. Some of these may include lawyers, accountants, insurance planners, investment experts and others with relevant expertise. The most logical place to start is to arrange a consultation with an estate planning attorney.

Other family members, trusted friends and one's own research may help to find that an attorney with the right credentials. Additionally, estate planning associations, bar association referral services, accountants and financial advisers are sources for a referral to the right legal professional. Additionally, when contacting a professional, it is appropriate to ask questions about his or her training, experience and background in that kind of work.

Membership in estate planning committees of local and state bar associations are an excellent indication of the attorney's experience. He or she may also be involved in estate planning councils or community-oriented organizations that provide education and assistance to the public. After finding the right attorney, the individual or couple should gather all of their legal and financial documents together and organize them into a portfolio or at least neatly arrange them in a suitable folder.

At the first meeting, the individual or married couple will introduce their financial picture in confidence to the attorney. If the client presents all of the relevant legal and financial information and documents, this may save considerable time and speed the process along. It's also a good idea to go into the meeting with at least a framework of one's goals, desires and preferences for a comprehensive estate plan. The attorney will take special care to formulate recommendations that comport with the client's particular needs and that are in compliance with Texas and federal law.

Source: herald-dispatch.com, "Finding the right help with estate planning is crucial", April 3, 2015

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