When you hop online and begin your search for a “living will attorney near me”, you’re going to be faced with more search results than you can begin to comb through. What exactly is it that you should be looking for, though? What makes a good living will attorney? Let’s take a look at some of the bullet points that you should be screening for when choosing which Florida living will attorney is right for you.
What to Look For When Searching For a “Living Will Attorney Near Me”
The first thing that you need to know is that when you are seeking an attorney to help you to plan your living will, you are looking for an estate planning attorney. An estate planning attorney can assist you with many aspects of planning your estate including creating an official living will, create a property power of attorney, creating special types of trusts, and preparing your last will and testament.
With so many crucial matters in their hands, it’s important that you select a reputable and qualified estate attorney, so what should you look for?
Ask Around For Recommendations
Before you start searching online for a living will attorney, try asking around to family and friends. See if they have a recommendation for an attorney that they have used personally. If they don’t have a recommendation for you, then you can hop online and start your search!
Are They Certified with the Florida Bar to Practice Estate Planning?
To properly serve you in the state of Florida, an estate planning attorney must be certified to practice estate planning with the Florida bar and have a current membership with the state bar organization. If an attorney you speak with does not have either of these things then you should hightail it out of there. You should also contact the local bar organization and inform them of the attorney who is practicing without the proper certification.
How Long Have They Been Practicing Estate Planning Law?
It’s always beneficial to hire an estate planning attorney who has plenty of experience in the field. Look for an attorney who has at least five years of experience practicing estate planning law. Here at Weidner Law, we have close to twenty years of experience handling cases for our Floridian natives and we’d be happy to put our experience to work for you too!
How Do They Charge For Their Services?
Some attorneys charge for their services based on an hourly fee where others charge on a fee-for-service basis. Find out which of these billing methods your potential attorney uses and whether it’s an affordable choice for you.
Are They a Reputable Source in the Area of Estate Planning?
Is your potential attorney a published author in the area of estate planning? If not, are they active in other ways when it comes to making contributions to the field? An attorney who is active in their field of practice is not only aware of current events and changes taking place in their field, but they also have a true personal interest in their area of practice.
Do They Carry Malpractice Insurance?
Every reputable attorney should carry malpractice insurance, it’s a good sign that the attorney you are considering believes strongly in accountability. It’s important to know that in the state of Florida, attorneys are not required to carry malpractice insurance, but we advise never hiring an attorney who does not have a policy in place.
Do They Clearly Disclose Their Fees Before Meeting With You?
It’s not uncommon for attorneys to avoid providing their fees before meeting with you. One reason for this is because it gets your foot in the door, but another reason is that they can’t begin to assess how much attention your case may need until they have all the details from you. That said, your potential attorney should be able to provide you with an estimated fee range for their service so that you know whether or not their fees are within your budget.
If your potential attorney does provide you with a flat fee for their service before even meeting with you this may also be a cause for concern. Law firms that don’t hesitate to give out flat fee quotes are almost always attorney “mills” that churn through cases without giving them the personal attention that they deserve. These attorneys do not have your best interest at heart and should not be at the top of your list.
Where Did Your Potential Attorney Go to School?
This isn’t the biggest consideration you should have when it comes to hiring an estate attorney, but it is a good sign of the quality of that attorney’s education. Like any other school system, there are top tier law schools and bottom tier law schools. Ideally, you want to hire an attorney who attended one of the top or middle tier law schools rather than the bottom tier schools. It may sound “snobbish”, but law schools that are harder to get in to have higher standards for their student’s educational experience.
Looking For a Reputable Living Will Attorney?
If you’re in Florida and in search of a reputable living will attorney who can help you put together an official living will, Weidner Law can help. Just pick up the phone and give us a call at 727-954-8752 and let us help you to plan your estate today.