Estate Planning Attorney Alabama


As an estate planning attorney, one of the most frequently asked questions people ask me is “What is an estate planning attorney?”  and “how do I find an estate planning attorney near me? An estate planning attorney advises people on strategies to use documents to implement in case they become incapacitated or when they pass away. 

Most people think that an estate planning lawyer is any lawyer who draws up wills or powers of attorney. However, there is much more to it than that. Most of the documents that are included in estate plans can be printed off of the internet. The real key to having a proper estate plan is to make sure that you have an estate planning attorney who actually does a plan and not just documents.  An estate planning lawyer provides value by doing the planning with you, not drafting the documents.

Most attorneys can draw up a simple will or power of attorney. However, an estate planning lawyer is one who knows what questions to ask to uncover your objectives and the things that are most important to you.  For example, estate planning for a single person is much different than estate planning for a newly married couple, which is much different than estate planning for someone who is in their seventies or eighties and in need of long-term care.

An estate planning attorney will advise you on the proper documents you need in case you become incapacitated or incompetent such as a financial durable power of attorney and an advance directive for health care. An estate planning lawyer will also advise you on the use of wills and may even suggest that you use different types of estate planning trusts.  Part of that planning is to decide which of your family members would be best in each role. Which of you loved ones would best be able to handle your finances if you were not able to do so? Who would you trust to make healthcare decisions if you are not able to do so?

Estate Planning Trust


In addition to planning for incapacity, your estate plan should also cover what happens to your assets when you pass away.  You should at least have a Last Will and Testament for that. You could also use a trust. Many people think that trusts are only for the very wealthy. However, estate planning trusts can be very effective in carrying out different objectives such as avoiding the time and expense of the probate process. The other good thing about a trust is that it is very effective in allowing someone else to manage your assets while you are still alive but become incompetent as a result of dementia or Alzheimer’s.  

Many people wonder “How do I find an estate planning attorney near me?”  You could ask your family lawyer or financial advisor for a good estate planning lawyer.  You can also go online and type in “How do I find an estate planning attorney near me” in the google search bar.  Once you get a couple of names, be sure to go to the attorney’s website to see if they specialize in estate planning matters.  If they have other practice areas listed like criminal law or personal injury, chances are they are not an estate planning attorney.  You might also want to check out the attorney’s reviews on google and to see what their clients have to say about working with them.

An estate planning attorney should take a holistic approach to your planning. The attorney should ask you about all of your assets and how the title to those assets is held.  The reason this is important is that all assets may not pass through your will or your trust.  By asking the right questions, an estate planning attorney can find out how the assets are held and discuss the legal significance of that with you.  For instance, if you have assets that have beneficiary designations on them, those assets will not go through your will. They go straight to the named beneficiary.  If you have accounts that are jointly held, they may also not go according to your will or trust. All of this can have a significant effect on who gets what when you pass away.  You should know the pros and cons of having jointly held accounts and how those affect your overall estate plan.

Hopefully we have answered the questions, “What is an estate planning attorney and “How to find a trust and estate planning attorney near me?” At Miller Estate and Elder Law, we are estate planning lawyers. We work with families to put comprehensive plans in place that meet our their goals and objectives.  We draft wills, powers of attorney, advanced directives for healthcare, estate planning trusts, and other legal documents that can be of help to you in your estate plan. Your estate plan should be a flexible and should change as your life circumstances change.


Estate Planning Helps You . . . and Your Family.

At Miller Estate and Elder Law, we help clients develop a great estate plan that’s just right for their lifestyle. Call us at 256-472-1900 or use our Contact Form to let us know you’re ready to get started on your estate plan.

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Miller Estate and Elder Law


Anniston Office

818 Leighton Ave.
Anniston, AL 36207

Birmingham Office

2100 Southbridge Parkway; Suite 650
Birmingham, AL 35209


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