Denver trust attorneys can help you with tasks related to setting up a living trust. Also called estate planning lawyers, trust attorneys are familiar with the intricacies of estate law, so they can help your heirs avoid the lengthy and costly probate process (one of the major advantages of trusts over wills) and they can make the entire process of transfer or property much smoother. If you own property and you are in need of legal help to set up a living trust, here are a few tips to consider while looking for a suitable legal professional.
Where to Start Looking
Most law firms and independent trust attorneys have their own websites, so carrying out an online search is a good way to start looking for a trust lawyer. Local, county-level or state bar associations are also good sources – they all have free lawyer referral services that will provide you with a list of the lawyers who specialize in your area of interest. Personal references are also very useful – you can talk to people you know to find out whether they know or have already worked with an attorney who matches your criteria. Financial advisors, accountants also work closely with trust attorneys, so you can ask your consultants whether they can recommend you a lawyer.
When you think you have a few names of lawyers you can imagine working with, it is time to start contacting the lawyers to see if they provide the right type of services, indeed. Most lawyers have fees for these initial meetings – reduced fees, but nevertheless, you should be prepared to pay for your first meeting, too.
While talking to possible candidates, make sure you are provided a detailed account of the lawyer’s fee structure as well as of the services offered. Ask questions about the following aspects:
- Experience – you need a lawyer with as much experience with trusts and estate planning as possible,
- Insurances – most Denver trust attorneys carry insurances such malpractice insurances, so look for a lawyer who is properly insured,
- The service provided – you need a lawyer who will not only put together the estate plan for you, but will also assist you with the funding process, that is, the process of transferring the assets to the trust created by transferring the titles of your assets from your name to the trust,
- Preparing and reviewing the estate planning documentation – your lawyer will put together the documentation for you, but you need to review it prior to signing to avoid mistakes or clauses that you don’t want. Ask the lawyer if they are willing to send the documentation to you for reviewing, it is more important than you may think,
- Updates – estate planning is a long-term process, even if the documentation needs to be drawn up only once. Semi-annual or yearly updates are important because laws may change and you need your document to be compliant with currently applicable laws at all times.
Getting Everything in Writing
When you find the right lawyer, there is one last step you need to take care of: include all the terms and conditions of your collaboration into a contract – once the contract is signed, the process of setting up the trust can begin.