How to Find an Estate Planning Attorney or Financial Planner

Attorneys and financial planners are often helpful individuals to consult for guidance in planning your estate. The right person (or persons) will need to have a grasp on finances, investments, tax planning and legal issues, and an understanding of the emotional challenges of planning for the distribution of your wealth.

Start by soliciting references from friends, relatives, local bar associations or related organizations. We may be able to offer suggestions or answer questions as well. Please feel free to give us a call.

Before hiring these types of professionals, consider the following information:
1. Experience and references
2. How fees are charged, along with an estimate of costs
3. Professional accomplishments
4. The number of principals working in the office
5. Office hours
6. Areas of specialty
7. Percentage of work devoted to estate planning
8. Alliances with professionals in related fields that may be of help.

RESOURCES
The American Bar Association has an Internet lawyer referral service at www.americanbar.org. You may also contact your state or local bar association for names of estate planning attorneys.

The Financial Planning Association offers an online financial planner referral service, "Find a Planner," and other resources at www.fpanet.org.

You can also find listings for lawyers and financial planners in the phone book.

Please contact Jackie Peterson at 507-933-7543 or jpeters9@gustavus.edu for more information.