Few things are more important to the success of your real estate plan than the attorney you draft and prepare. Almost as important are the relationships that form between these attorneys and other professional advisors who serve you in the areas of financial and accounting advice.
All successful estate planning is the result of several professions working together for the good of the client. Attorney-at-Law usually abbreviated in everyday speech to an attorney is the preferred term for a practicing lawyer in certain jurisdictions.
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But the right kind of estate planning attorney will also be interested in your desire to pass along more than just money. He or she will ask about and explain how to accomplish such things as:
1. Funding the education of offspring for several generations
2. Meeting philanthropic goals that will leave a legacy for your community
3. Preserving family history and stories that support the values you believe in
Your Role in the Estate Planning Process
Your role in the process is an active role, not a passive one. You should avoid the attorney who is content with simply telling you what to do, and then throwing together some documents to accomplish it.
If you're working with the right estate planning attorney, you should plan on being involved in two distinct steps:
1. Develop a plan with counseling-oriented (rather than document-oriented) professionals.
2. Commit yourself and your family to an ongoing maintenance and education program.
Choose an attorney that is counseling-oriented, values-based, and as strong on relationships as he or she is on the law.