How Do I Find an Attorney to Help Me with Asset Protection?
By: Barry E. Haimo, Esq.
May 18, 2015
HAIMO: The best way to locate an attorney for your asset protection needs is by word of mouth – speaking to people that you know that you trust, your family, your friends, work associates, people at your religious institutions. They’ve probably encountered attorneys that truly cared about their best interests, and will be happy to share those experiences with you. Alternatively, going online and searching for yourself is not a bad idea. You can call them and meet with them and make this decision on your own.
Whatever the size of their estate and annual income, everyone can benefit from asset protection. A qualified, experienced estate planning attorney can help you craft a plan to keep your life’s work free from predatory creditors and other outside parties.
However, choosing the right estate planning attorney can be difficult. Your estate planning attorney will play a key role in various lifetime needs, as well as passing down your assets to your loved ones following death. Clearly, this is not a job you want to bestow on someone you don’t fully trust or who does not understand the intricacies of preserving assets for the future generation.
In this article, I’ll share tips for finding the right estate planning attorney for your asset protection needs, along with advice on who can benefit the most from asset protection and what questions you might ask a prospective attorney.
Who Needs Asset Protection?
It cannot be overemphasized that everyone can benefit from a comprehensive estate plan—an important part of which involves protecting your assets. But asset protection is particularly important for certain individuals, including:
- Individuals with high net worth
- Business owners
- Individuals who are at risk of being sued (i.e. professionals)
- Individuals who have children from a previous relationship
- Children with rocky marriages
Estate planning attorneys can help protect estate assets from outside threats, such as bankruptcy, lawsuits, creditor claims, divorce, and other liabilities. A competent attorney will have a number of tools at his or her disposal to shield your assets from these threats so they may pass safely on to your heirs.
Finding the Right Estate Planning Attorney
Word of mouth is often the best tool to find the right attorney for your asset protection needs. Your family, friends, business associates, and other members of your community may have had a positive (or negative) experience with an attorney that they are eager to share with you.
The internet is another great tool for locating attorneys. You could ask your friends or family on Facebook or other social media platforms to make a recommendation. They usually contain reviews from former clients, which helps provide useful perspective and insight.
Additionally, you can use a service like Yelp or Google to help you find local attorneys. Even if the attorney you decide on isn’t local, he or she may be open to connecting via the internet. Haimo Law represents clients all throughout the state of Florida and in New York.
Questions to Ask a Prospective Estate Attorney
Even if you get a good recommendation for an estate planning attorney, you’ll still want to schedule a consultation to make sure he or she is a good fit for you.
It’s a good idea to have some questions prepared for your initial meeting. Here are some things you might ask a prospective attorney:
- How long have you worked in asset protection?
- What portion of your practice do you dedicate to asset protection?
- What is your rate of success when protecting people’s assets?
Effective asset protection requires expert knowledge of Florida estate law and years of work in the field.
Barry E. Haimo, Esq.
Strategic Planning With Purpose
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