If you’re thinking about hiring an estate attorney, you’re mind is on the future when you will no longer be around. It’s not a pleasant thing to think about, and as such, most people avoid talking about wills, estates, and trusts simply because they don’t want to bring about any bad vibes or jinx themselves in any way. The problem with this thinking is that it doesn’t help anyone. Hiring an estate attorney is your way of telling your loved ones you want to be sure they have one less thing to worry about when you’ve passed. But what exactly goes into the hiring process? We’re all at least a little familiar with the whole HR process from work, and we’ve got a pretty good handle on what an interview feels like, but this is a whole new ballgame. You could do the most logical thing and start asking people if they’ve started planning ahead. If so, what estate attorneys have they worked with? Co-workers, family members, and fellow congregation members can be really good sources of information, but in many cases, you’re really just getting a recommendation. You still may not know how best to interact with an estate attorney. If this sounds like you, or if you’ve been on the fence about starting the process of working with an estate attorney, here are a few questions you should ask: What am I looking for in terms of personality? You’re going to be working with someone regarding some fairly private & intimate information. You want to be sure you’re comfortable with him/her. How much am I looking at regarding cost? Different attorneys charge in different ways. Some charge by the hour whereas others have a flat fee based on the services rendered. It’s always good to have a budget you’re working with, but keep in mind that you don’t want to go “bargain basement’ with such an important process. What are the goals of my estate? You want to make a plan for the way you want things laid out before you walk into an attorney’s office. This way, you can make changes as necessary before a final draft is put together. Do I have an estate? Yes. Just because you’re not J.D. Rockefeller doesn’t mean you don’t have an estate. It’s this incorrect thinking that sometimes keeps people from doing any advanced planning at all, which is never good. How complex are my needs? Even if all you need is a simple will, power of attorney, and advance directive, having an estate attorney might not be a bad idea as they may be able to help you with other planning. As with any particular area of law, you have as good a chance of finding a great estate attorney as you do a not-so-great one. On the whole, though, you usually find people who understand that you are coming to them at a time when you feel your most vulnerable and most concerned. You’re looking out for your family, and you want to be sure you’ve got your bases covered when you die. No one wants to think about death, and we certainly don’t want to imagine our family grieving over our death, but we also want to be sure we do what we can to make sure they have as much peace of mind as possible. Hiring an experienced estate attorney who concentrates on your family’s long-term needs is always a step in the right direction.