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11 things to ask before hiring an estate planning lawyer

You need to plan for the well-being of your money, your family, and your life

by Alexis Martin Neely  |  2073 views  |  3 comments  |        Rate this now! 

As a mom, there are 11 things you should ask before hiring a lawyer to help you plan for the well-being of your money, your family and your life.

1.) Do you prepare a comprehensive plan for my kids’ care if something happens to me, like the Kids Protection Plan™ that names short and long-term guardians and gives specific instructions to all of the guardians and my caregivers? What about an ID card for my wallet listing the short-term guardians with their contact information?

2.) Are all of your fees flat fees? What about for ongoing work after the initial completion of my estate plan documents? What happens when I call with legal questions two years after my planning documents were completed? What if the questions are about something other than my estate plan?

3.) Do you have a whole team in place or is it just you? What happens if something happens to you or you retire?

4.) What happens if I need to get a quick question answered and you are not available?

5.) Do you make sure my assets are titled in the right way? How?

6.) What happens when things change in my life? Do you notify me about changes in the law? How often do you communicate with me?

7.) Does my planning fee include a regular review of my plan? What if I want to make changes to my plan?

8.) Do you have any sort of an estate planning maintenance program or membership program for ongoing service and, if so, what does that include?

9.) Do you have a process for helping me capture and pass on my intangible wealth, such as my intellectual, spiritual, and human assets or who I am and what's important to me?

10.) Can you structure my estate plan so that whatever I leave to my kids will be protected from a lawsuit against them or if they are divorced in the future? How often do you build that kind of planning into client’s plans?

11.) Do you guarantee your service?

Knowing the questions to these answers before you engage an estate planning lawyer will ensure you put in place an estate plan for your family that will really work when your family needs it and won’t end up just a pile of worthless paper.


About the Author

Alexis Martin Neely is an author, speaker, personal family lawyer, Better TV Family Financial & Legal Expert and mom. Alexis makes it super easy for your family to talk about and plan for sticky subjects like money, death and taxes. Subscribe to Alexis' free online magazine "Family Wealth Secrets" at: and create free legal documents naming guardians for your kids at

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