What You Should Know Before Hiring Anyone to Help You With Your Estate Planning

The Minnesota Attorney General has sued a local business for allegedly running a “trust mill”. In the complaint, the Attorney General alleges that Shorewood-based Heritage Partners sold trusts to seniors that were not prepared by a licensed attorney, but by an Arizona man who is not licensed to practice law in either Arizona or Minnesota. The complaint also alleges that the plans were form documents that may or may not have accomplished the wishes of the clients.

Here are a few questions you should ask before hiring anyone to do your estate planning:

  1. Will you take the time to educate me on the pros and cons of wills, trusts and other alternatives? There are differences and what you choose should be based on accomplishing what is most important to you. If an estate planner will not take the time to find out what is important to you, then explain your options and help you make an informed decision, find someone that will.


  1. What is the background and experience of the person who will be preparing your plan? Experience can vary greatly. You should try to find someone who spends a majority of their time on estates and trusts.


  1. Can I have references? Look for someone that has references that you can contact before hiring them; preferably someone that has real testimonials from real people that have done the type of planning that you need.

For more information on estate planning, visit our video page for tips and answers to frequently asked questions about wills, trusts and estate planning.

Chuck Roulet
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Nationally Recognized Estate Planning Attorney, Author, and Speaker
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