At Skeeters, Bennett, Wilson & Humphrey, we consider it an honor to help people secure the future for themselves and their families with proper estate planning. However, it’s important to design a strategy that meets your specific needs and goals, and we want this to be a partnership of complete understanding and growth. This is why we frequently recommend getting a second opinion on components of your estate plan as it’s being drafted.
Your Right to Fair Practices
The last thing our legal professionals want is for our clients to feel left out of such critical life decisions because they don’t receive the dedicated attention and consideration they deserve. Here’s an example.
A member of our firm met with an older woman who needed more information about establishing a power of attorney. Her husband had recently passed, and she wondered if her son could help her in the future with specific financial and health issues if necessary. When asked if she had any estate planning documents, she responded “Oh yes!”—and pulled out a binder four inches thick of a very complicated estate plan.
She had gone to an attorney who essentially sold this woman and her husband a Corvette when they only needed a Camry. The estate plan was drafted several years prior when her husband was still alive, and the couple had relatively few assets. Yet it included a very complex trust and several other unnecessary documents—and probably cost several thousands of dollars more to prepare as a result. The saddest part is that she didn’t understand what it all meant, and in our review, we discovered that she already had a designated power of attorney but didn’t know it.
Choose an Advisory Team You Can Trust
Your elder law estate planning attorney serves your needs, not the other way around. You have every right during the process to question and research what a legal advisor suggests. Share their recommendations with your general counsel, a certified public accountant, and a financial advisor to make sure all your needs and goals are addressed per your wishes.
Seeking second opinions provides another level of certainty that your estate planning attorney has your best interests in mind, as well as the knowledge to anticipate your future objectives and ultimately, be a professional partner you can trust to guide you in the years to come.