When choosing an estate planning law firm, be sure to select a firm with experience in handling estates of a similar worth and complexity as your own. Estate planning can be a very sensitive subject for some people, particularly in blended families, as well as families in which some members have special needs or there is high interpersonal conflict. As such, you should work with a firm whose staff make you feel comfortable and with whom you can share information about your family. It is also a good idea to ask friends, family and other legal professionals if they can recommend an estate planning law firm. Be sure to follow up on these referrals with your own investigation into the firm and its lawyers.
Many estate planning attorneys and law firms restrict their practice to estates of a particular size and may have limited experience in managing and planning estates with special circumstances. In many cases, a firm may offer you a free consultation, either by phone or in person, so that you can discuss the size of your estate as well as your specific estate planning needs. During this consultation, be sure to explain your circumstances and directly ask whether the lawyer or the firm has any experience in cases such as yours. If it doesn't, you should probably look at other firms with experience in managing similar cases.
For an estate planning law firm to offer you good service, it will have to be acquainted with the particulars of your case. This may mean disclosing sensitive family information, which may be a painful topic for you to broach. As such, you should note how you feel when meeting with a lawyer for the first time. If you do not feel comfortable explaining what may be a very complex and unhappy family situation to this person, you may wish to consider finding another lawyer.
In many cases, friends and family may be able to offer you suggestions based on their own experiences with an estate planning law firm. You may also wish to speak to an attorney whom you used for another matter and ask his opinion about local firms and attorneys. When you have a list of names, it is often a good idea to contact the Bar Association in your area to confirm the credentials of law firm employees and to find out if any of them are currently subject to disciplinary procedures or have been in the past.