When I do estate plans, like a trust package, I generally charge a flat fee. There are attorneys who will try to charge on an hourly basis, in order to try and get more money out of people but I do not practice that way; I probably have as good a pricing structure as anyone else out there for the quality of the work. I have seen people try to charge $3,000-4,000 for what I will do for $1,500; I try to figure out how many hours it will take to do the job, and charge based on that.
What Qualities and Red Flags Should I Consider When Hiring An Estate Planning Attorney?
What you really want is someone who has been doing estate planning a long time, and who does it a lot. You do not want someone who is basically a personal injury attorney or a divorce attorney who bought a computer program and promises to do your trust for you; you want someone who is experienced, whose pricing structure is fair, and who has good customer service. You now can go online to Google or Yelp and read the reviews on attorneys.
For example, I had to find a mechanic to work on my car and I was going to go to one, but I checked their reviews on Yelp and Google and it did not look so great, so I decided to find someone else, and called up this one garage and the person was very nice on the phone and gave me all the information I needed, and that was who I chose to work with. I do not think it should be any different when you are choosing an attorney; I know attorneys have this kind of strange karma about them, but I think when you are getting an attorney, you really want to check out their reviews and you want to find out how competent they are and see if you can match the competency with the price you are willing to pay; that is how you should choose as your attorney.
What Makes Your Firm Unique In Handling Estate Planning Cases?
One thing that makes me different is that I am a product of Estate Planning because of my family background; I understand how this process works, as well as how your kids will respond to the situation when the person passes away. I understand it from their perspective and from the parent’s perspective, so that is one thing that sets me apart and one reason I am really proud of my documents; I modify my documents a lot in terms of comparing to how other computer programs or how other attorneys have designed their documents.
In terms of my firm’s structure, I am not the highest priced person out there and I am not a discount lawyer; I just charge a fair price for the work I do; I am not ripping people off and I do not have people unhappy with me and posting bad reviews. Most people I meet with are very happy and they post good reviews, which is why I get as many clients as I do now; I do a good job, I get my work done on time, I take good care of my clients and I answer my phone. I do not know how many people I have run into all the time who say they can never get the attorney on the phone. I do not understand how an attorney can really represent someone if you are not communicating with them; it amazes me because the State Bar ethics rules say you are supposed to maintain communication with your client.
In terms of the kinds of things that people are looking for when they are hiring an attorney, they include whether you can talk to them, whether the pricing is fair and whether they are competent and experienced. You want to make sure the ultimate work product is excellent because all of that is why people come to me.
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