The following is taken from an interview with trusts and estates attorney Kerri Castellini as she discusses the factors that determine an attorney-client relationship and how she became interested in this type of law. To learn more or discuss your specific needs, call a DC trusts and estates lawyer today.
Important Factors in Strong Establishing Attorney-Client Relationship
The most important factor in an attorney-client relationship is honesty. It is really important in these cases for clients to explain their true family dynamics, which can be difficult, to disclose their assets and how they are titled, and to be truthful about anything that could be an important factor in creating an estate plan. Honesty and openness are key for productive estate planning and administration.
Why Strong Attorney-Client Relationship is Important
It is so important on both the planning and the administration side. The more that you trust your attorney, the more you will disclose regarding your family dynamics, nature of your assets, concerns, and goals. An attorney can prepare for situations either in planning or in assisting on the administration side effectively knowing all of the dynamics at play. An estate planning attorney is really somebody that has to be a trusted individual, because you’re talking about very sensitive family issues that can often be difficult to disclose.
How Attorney-Client Relationship Changes After Creation of Trust
It really depends on the type of case I have and whether I am working with a client during his lifetime or with his estate after death that dictates the attorney’s role for that particular client. Trust is important even after death because the attorney continues to advise the trustee or fiduciary of his obligations and responsibilities, both pursuant to the law and pursuant to the language of the document itself.
Most Interesting and Challenging Cases
The cases that are most interesting are the ones that have a lot of challenges, whether it be asset titling or family dynamics or unique situations where it really takes creativity to craft a plan that will solve those problems.
Cases involving family disagreements are the most challenging. From the administrative perspective, family conflict often delays the process, which can result in additional fees that could have been avoided, such as attorney’s costs. It is difficult to see a family torn apart after the death of a loved one instead of coming together.
Important Things to Consider When Deciding to Consult Attorney
An estate planning attorney is really the best tool someone who is planning their estate can have at their side. An attorney advises her client on the best way to draft the document to cover specific needs. An estate planning attorney will be familiar with the nuances of the law and the required language to create an effective document. It can be very easy to leave out necessary language that can result in invalid provisions in a last will and testament. Sometimes, even if the document is valid, necessary language that is accidentally omitted can make the administration process more difficult than it would have been if an attorney were involved every step of the way.
What Makes Trusts and Estates Practice Special
Having a good estates plan can be the best gift that you leave for your family. It can assist you in protecting your wealth either from predators or by minimizing your estate tax exposure. It can also put together a family plan to ensure the longevity of your assets for future generations and provide for your children and grandchildren.
Your estate plan is your final word in the world, and so making sure that it’s an efficient plan can really help a family heal and feel secure after your death.
Ability of Trusts to Help People Manage Their Wealth
Proper estate and trust planning can help individuals plan for the succession of their businesses. It can help them do things during their lifetime that can minimize estate taxes. Proper planning allows for the continuation of one’s assets and protects his family in the event of his incapacitated or death. However, an estate planner will not provide you with financial advice. For example, an estate planner will not advise what funds to invest your assets in, or what your insurance needs may be.
It is for this reason that estates and trust attorneys often work closely with financial advisors to ensure that a plan has been placed to protect the longevity of an individual’s assets.
Benefits of Consulting With a Trusts and Attorneys – Even With a Retirement Fund
If you think that you are set, you can still benefit from an estates and trusts attorney. One of the things that an estates and trust attorney can do is look at look at different types of retirement or beneficiary accounts and make sure that your beneficiary is properly identified and that your goals are coordinated with your estate plan. The estate planning attorney can also ensure that you are not creating an unintended income tax consequence or an estate tax consequence. An attorney can also make sure that you are providing for liquidity for the administration of your estate and the payment of any estate taxes or administrative expenses that may be due. Much of this is difficult to do on your own, without an expert.