PB Law Blog... Trusts and Stuff

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

How to Find the Right Legacy Planning Attorney for You.

Legacy planning is much more than a configured documentation of your assets. It is both a personal and procedural preparation of your life requiring additional foresight and planning for beyond.  Developing a solid estate plan requires a culmination of knowledge based on law, accounting, and a level of customization that only a good estate planning attorney will have.  The attorney you choose to assist in your legacy plan should be trustworthy and someone who you feel can communicate your goals in legal and effective way.  So, how do you find the right legacy planner?  Below are some great ways to find a legacy planner who is right for you. 

Word of Mouth.

The most effective referrals come from the community: the people you know, and others involved in the line of work in which you are seeking.  Ask your friends who they use for their legacy planning.  Inquire with accountants, CPA’s, and financial advisors as they usually have an attorney they refer their clients to for estate and legacy planning services.  Hiring someone this way makes it more comfortable for you, the client, and allows the attorney to get to the heart of the matter faster because of that established level of comfort.


This is the most obvious way to get the most choices available to you.  Although, this will give many (maybe too many) options, it is a good starting point to hone in on the area of law in which you are looking, and possibly find a few attorneys that stand out to you and go from there.  Sometimes, it is easier to start broad and narrow down to get a better idea of what kind of representation you are looking for. 


Local advertising is in the same vein as an internet search but may localize to a specific physical area.  Attorneys advertise through various forms of media (I am sure you have seen the billboards along the side of the freeways).  Many neighborhoods have local newsletters and/or magazines that will advertise local businesses. The Nevada State Bar website lists registered attorneys (active and non-active), their specialties, links to their websites, and disclosures on their standing with the State Bar. 

Blogs/Legal Websites.

Although blogs are mostly subjective, it is a great way to start researching on what legacy/estate planning is – in lay terms!  Statutory language can make it difficult to understand what exactly you may need.  The conversational tone of a blog will give you a good idea about what you think you may need in planning for your legacy.  Also, many legal blogs will post about topics that are relevant to their client-base, which may lead you to find an attorney that is familiar with your situation!  Avvo and LegalMatch, are great online resources when searching for an attorney.  Also, The American Bar Association has some good advice on this topic here.

The most important step in finding the right attorney to assist you in your legacy planning is finding a workable level of comfort and trust between you and your attorney.  As stated earlier, legacy planning requires more than a fill-in-the blank mentality. Life is not stagnant, it changes constantly.  A good legacy planner will take this into consideration as they help you plan out your legacy while bringing their specialized knowledge to provide the maximum benefit for you and your family. 

-by Laura Bown, J.D. with Tiffany Ballenger Floyd, Esq. (Nevada & California Estate Planning Attorney), © 2018, Phillips Ballenger, PLLC

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