How can you tell if what you have is an original or not? Is it the signature? Would the court not accept a copy?
I am an elder law attorney in my mid-fifties, looking to wind down my practice in the next few years! I even have an associate who has been with me 7 years. Everything about your post is my life.
Freaky. I even do duplicate originals.
@scoop85 & @CateCAParent: Can you recommend a helpful checklist for finding an estate or elder law attorney? As mentioned above (or another thread), our wills are 15-20 years old. They’re still applicable, but we’ve discussed changing to a trust or at least updating., and have NO CLUE where to start. There are no lawyers in our family or even social circle. Do wee seek an elder law attorney? Estate attorney? Are there special certifications, or do attorneys simply specialize in different areas over time (in which case experience is paramount)?
You can search for a specialist with the state bar in some states on their website. Some state bar associations certify specialists. Also try a search Martindale-Hubbell, a rating service. Be cautious about attorneys who run free seminars or advertise. Better attorneys where I am don’t need to do that as they can rely on referrals.
Elder law is a different subarea of law. An estate and trust attorney is what you are looking for. Some attorneys will do a very short call or meeting so you can try to screen them.
Unless you have specific issues like Medicaid planning, complicated assets, or kids with disabilities, or if you anticipate trouble in your family dynamic when you are gone (especially around step kids and second spouses not getting along), or if you are worried about a dementia diagnosis, then a standard estate planning attorney should be fine. There are certifications and referral sources that differ state by state. But definitely check out a few. Ask friends. Get a referral from the local bar association. Referrals from people you know is the best way, in my opinion.
Are you in WA? PM me.
Sorry, I am in California. Wish I could help.
Sorry I was asking @kjofkw !
(I noticed that you have a “CA” in your name. )
KJO, if you mention your state, you may have suggestions from here.
Are there such things as disability attorneys? I have a friend with five adult children, one of whom has developed a disability. I think my friend needs help.
Yes. There are lawyers who are well versed in disability issues- setting up trusts for an adult child who will not be self-supporting after the parents are gone, figuring out how to divide assets if there is likely to be a non-equal division, what the current asset caps are for public assistance, etc.