As you move toward retirement, you might not consider obtaining legal advice for your future planning. When you find yourself needing legal assistance, you may question who you need to call. There are so many different types of lawyers, many of whose titles include large words and legal lingo that’s hard to understand, such as litigation or acquisition.
Below is a breakdown of lawyers that you may find yourself needing as you or your loved ones age. Whether you need assistance with wills, estate planning, finances or long-term care insurance, there are lawyers who are available to help you get your affairs in order.
Family lawyers handle issues relating directly to the family. Issues handled by a family lawyer can include estate planning, family planning, divorce, custody arrangements, pre- and post-nuptial agreements, and other issues surrounding marriage and children.
Estate Planning Lawyers
Estate lawyers help individuals and families set up wills, trusts and college funds, as well as distribute property. Essentially, estate lawyers ensure that a client’s financials are in order in case of a life-changing event or death. At times, estate lawyers act as executors of a will, making sure that all entities get what they are entitled to in the event of someone’s death. Estate lawyers may also represent individuals who are contesting a will.
Tax lawyers help businesses and individuals comply with tax laws. Tax lawyers also represent clients in court if they are audited by the IRS. Many tax lawyers also work in estate planning.
Civil Litigation Lawyers
A civil litigation lawyer deals with any non-criminal litigation issues dealing with employment, real estate, business, breach of contract, etc.
Real Estate Lawyers
Real estate lawyers handle property and real estate dealings. Some real estate lawyers specialize in one area of real estate, such as real estate disputes, real estate transactions or drafting legal documents. And, some may only focus on commercial or residential real estate.
Finding the Right Lawyer
After you determine the type of lawyer that you need, you need to find a lawyer whose right for you. Below are a series of questions you may want to ask when selecting your lawyer.
- Does the attorney specialize in the type of issue you need assistance with?
- What is the attorney’s track record in handling issues like yours?
- Who will be your contact person?
- Will you be dealing with an attorney or a paralegal?
- How will you be kept up to date on the progress on your case?
- How will you be billed? Will you be billed for phone calls and e-mail correspondence?
- What’s the best way to communicate?
- Are fees calculated hourly? Flat fee? Contingent?
- What expenses are you responsible for?
- How often will you be billed?
- Is any advanced payment required?
- Will you receive copies of all documents filed in your case?