Several years ago, my son had some reconstructive surgery. My wife spent hours researching doctors before choosing a doctor in Denver. This doctor had an impressive resume-- she had attended great schools, had lots experience and we liked her. The first surgery was an absolute failure. The doctor was surprised at the result and assured us that if she did it again, we'd get the result we expected. The second surgery wasn't much better, and our frustration increased. We decided to give her one last shot, thinking the third time's a charm. Same surgery with the same result. We were furious and confused. How could someone who seemed so qualified, do such an awful job? Not just once, but three times.
My wife and I were talking about this experience the other day, which led to a discussion about the wide range of abilities among professionals. There are lots of estate planning attorneys in Colorado Springs. Some are really good and some are really bad. So, how does someone know which one to choose? Here are my tips for choosing your estate planning attorney:
- Ask for referrals from friends or family or coworkers. Do you have a CPA or financial adviser? These professionals regularly work with estate planning attorneys and should have some good insight.
- Google their name and see what you find. Do they have a website? Do they have any reviews on Google? Go to the website Avvo and see what it says about them.
- Go meet them in person. Most attorneys offer a free 30-minute consultation. Ask lots of questions. After 30 minutes you should have a pretty good sense of whether you like the attorney or not, how experienced they are in estate planning and whether they're competent.
- Don't confuse price with value and remember that you usually get what you pay for. I'd be nervous about an attorney who says they'll prepare your trust-based plan for $1,000. I'd run from an attorney who says it will cost $10,000 to do the same thing.
If you're looking for an estate planning attorney, try this out on me. Look me up on the web. Schedule a free consultation and come meet with me. I'm confident you'll be happy with what you find out.