It seems that the most frequently asked question in estate planning is: “How much do you charge for a Will?” Respectfully, wouldn’t you really prefer to put that question in proper context and learn what it will cost you and your loved ones to plan, update and settle your estate? We fully answer that question, and offer several fee options, at our initial Consultation.

We are including here two sets of twenty questions that we have shared at the Consultation for several years. The first set is called Twenty Questions You Should Ask an Estate Planning Attorney, and may be helpful to you as you go about the important task of deciding which attorney or law firm to plan with. The second set of questions is called Your Moment of Truth ~ A Two-Minute Self-Quiz on Estate Planning™, and should prove to be a helpful yardstick by which to measure the likely effectiveness of any existing planning you have in place.

Twenty Questions You Should Ask An Estate Planning Attorney
© 2002-2022 Jeffrey L. Knapp, Esq. ~ The Knapp Law Firm LLC

  1. How do you define “Estate Planning?”
  2. What percentage of your total work does Estate Planning represent?
  3. What are the requirements to become an Estate Planning Law Specialist?
  4. In the past two years, have you implemented at least one each of the following:
    • Revocable Living Trust?
    • Charitable Remainder Trust?
    • Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust?
    • Charitable Foundation?
    • Spousal Lifetime Access Trust?
    • LLC or FLP?
  5. How do you ensure that I will under all circumstances avoid the expense and embarrassment of a contested Guardianship action in Court?
  6. How do you ensure that my assets will be used for my specific health care wishes, rather than being used for types of care that I do not want?
  7. How do you ensure that married couples can maximize their applicable exclusion amount under current New Jersey and Federal Estate Tax laws?
  8. How do you ensure that assets pass in a protected manner, to a surviving spouse, children and/or other loved ones?
  9. Where is my confidential financial information kept upon receipt?
  10. Where are my file and documents kept and for what period of time?
  11. Where has your office been located for the past twenty years?
  12. Where do you plan to be practicing law for the next ten/twenty/thirty years?  (Depending on how long a relationship you seek.)
  13. What is your back-up plan for your relocation, disability or death?
  14. Has anyone ever filed an ethics complaint against you or your law firm?
  15. What geographic area(s) do you draw estate planning clients from?
  16. Have you authored or co-authored any books on estate planning?
  17. What national experts would you call if I/we presented challenging issues in asset protection? In business succession? In charitable planning?
  18. What is your formal updating program to help ensure that my/our Estate Plan stays current?
  19. How many hours of Continuing Education do you devote to Estate Planning?
  20. What is the total projected cost of PLANNING AND SETTLING my/our estate, including estate tax, inheritance tax and executor fees?

Beyond this, we invite you to ask any questions you like at a private Consultation.