Before choosing your attorney, it is a good idea to meet with a few to see if your personalities match, and that they are looking out for your best interests. If you find that you meet someone who seems to be the stereotypical “sleazy attorney,” it won’t work, no matter how specialized and knowledgeable he or she is. You don’t want to be second-guessing and wondering if your lawyer is cheating you out of your money or is putting your case on the backburner. You want to find someone who clicks well with you because when you feel comfortable with your attorney, things run much smoother.
You are your own Rocky Balboa, and the attorney you hire should be your Mickey Goldmill. Mickey was always in Rocky’s corner, and that’s the relationship you should have with your attorney. This type of relationship is easily seen in areas of law such as Criminal and Family. In Criminal Law, we’ve all seen defense attorneys looking out for their clients. We know that they throw everything plus the kitchen sink at the court to make their client walk free. The same is true in Family Law; divorce attorneys are known for squeezing as hard as they can to get their client the best deals.
In Estate Planning, your attorney needs to be your Mickey. When drafting your documents, your attorney should be contacting you with suggestions on how to protect your family from creditors and predators. A proper estate attorney should be able to protect as much of your assets as possible to insure they go your beneficiaries. Another role of the estate attorney is to protect you from possible predators, because the danger of undue influence in Wills and Trusts can be hard to see. It may not be obvious that the home caregiver is forcing an elderly person to put them into the Will. It may be difficult to see the difference between a grandchild with truly altruistic intentions or one looking out for his inheritance.
We always see Mickey giving Rocky advice and looking out for his best interest; this is the ideal relationship between you and your attorney. Your attorney is there to give you tips and look out for your well-being. Just because a lawyer is knowledgeable does not mean he is in your corner. Make sure you get the right attorney for you.