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No one can help you minimize taxes, protect your assets, and find the best ways to provide for your favorite people and organizations like a qualified estate planning attorney can. But where do you find one who fits your needs, personality style and budget? These three steps can help.

Step 1: Collect Names
Here are some common resources to help you identify estate planning attorneys in your area:
  • References from friends, relatives and co-workers
  • Referrals from a local bar association or estate planning council
  • Recommendations from charities you trust, especially if you're considering making a planned gift through your will or trust
  • The American Bar Association's Internet lawyer referral service, www.abanet.org—search for attorneys in your area and research firms or individual attorneys to identify which ones specialize in trusts and estates, or wills and probate
Step 2: Acquire Information
Once you've compiled a list of possible contenders, research them more to determine the following information:
  • Experience and references
  • How fees are charged, along with an estimate of costs
  • Professional accomplishments
  • The number of principals working in the office
  • Office hours
  • Areas of specialty
  • Percentage of work devoted to estate planning
  • Alliances with professionals in related fields that may be of help
Step 3: Make Your Choice
You now have enough information to make an informed decision, but we would be happy to further help you locate an estate planning attorney who works well with your unique situation. For more help, feel free to contact Steve Brier today at (866) 204-8102 or sbrier@willamette.edu.

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