Questions to Ask When Interviewing an Estate Planning Attorney

Questions to Ask When Interviewing an Estate Planning Attorney

How many estate plans has the attorney drafted?

  • Cantor Law Group’s Elizabeth Estes serves as the firm’s Managing Partner of the Estate Planning Practice.  She has designed and drafted over 1000 estate plans in her 25-year law career. Her experience ranges from simple Wills with “pour over” trusts, to complex high level net worth plans involving LLC and Business Formation; Asset Protection structures; and tax exclusion integration.

Does the Law Firm use non-lawyer document preparers or non-lawyers CPA’s to design you Estate Plans?

  • Cantor Law Group never uses any non-lawyers to design a client’s estate plan – we only use lawyers from our Estate Planning Practice to formulate and draft your documents. In fact, some of the most flawed documents we see when a person consults us regarding their existing plan were originally drafted by a non-attorney. This is especially troubling if the flaws are discovered after a loved one’s passing.

Does the Attorney have experience with drafting Irrevocable Trusts for Tax Reduction and/or Asset Protection purposes?

  • At Cantor Law Group, we are well versed in the ever-changing Estate Tax Credit Coupon amount as it relates to reducing a person’s estate taxes upon death. Although the 2024 exemption is $13.61 million per spouse, this amount is slated to drop to only $5.49 million in 2026 (adjusted for inflation). Most mid-level net worth estates can easily exceed the lower 2026 exemption amount. This is why it is critical to have an experienced Estate Attorney draft your Irrevocable Trust to benefit your children, and have it properly funded by Life Insurance, reduced cost-basis shares in a family business, or by any other means desired by the client.  In addition, a properly drafted Irrevocable Trust can also so serve as Asset Protection from creditors or litigious individuals.

Does the Attorney have experience drafting Special Needs Trusts for Vulnerable Adults, or those individuals subject to Guardianship or Conservatorship?

  • Cantor Law Group’s Attorneys are highly experienced at drafting and filing Petitions for Guardianship and/or Conservatorship. In addition to these documents, we also recommend to have a Special Needs Trust in place to take care of your Vulnerable Child or relative after you are gone. This document can also protect your loved one’s future from a step-parent if your spouse remarries. Contact Cantor Law Group today if you care for a Special Needs child or relative.

Has the Attorney performed Trust Administration?

  • At Cantor Law Group, Elizabeth Estes has served as a Successor Trustee performing Trust Administration for numerous clients.  She is well versed with the rules involving the necessary Trust Powers Provision; Certificate of Trusts; and the requirements under the Arizona Uniform Trust Code. In addition, Cantor Law Group’s “A-B” Trusts are always designed and administered to maximize the Husband/Wife Estate Tax Coupon. Lastly, we will immediately perform the following 4 steps of Trust Administration upon a Grantor’s death: We will establish the Asset Values; Notify all Creditors properly; File the proper Tax Documents; and Promptly Distribute the Assets to the proper beneficiaries.

Does the Law Firm use Wealth Counsel Estate Planning Software in conjunction with Clio legal software?

  • Cantor Law Group uses Clio legal software – the industry leader – as the case management tool for all our cases.  In addition, our membership with Wealth Counsel allows us to access the most cutting-edge Estate Planning software currently available.  By utilizing Clio’s Client Portal, documents and records can be easily downloaded into the portal either by the client from their home, or by our staff in the office.  In addition, Clio will seamlessly integrate all information contained in your records in the Wealth Counsel’s high-level Estate Planning Templates.  Cantor Law Group not only has the very best software, but also has Attorneys who are the highest-rated by Martindale-Hubbell, AVVO, Super-Lawyers, and a host of other top-notch Attorney rating organizations!