During the initial estate planning consultation, some clients ask me, "What happens if you die? What should we do?" First of all, I'm always flattered that they are concerned about my health and well-being. Then I basically tell the client the unflattering truth which is that they can go to any capable estate planning lawyer they like (who will do a good job for them) and that lawyer can pick up where I left off.
In other words, if your dentist dies, will you never go to another dentist as long as you live? What we lawyers do for clients is indeed personal, and clients may choose one lawyer over another for a variety of reasons. However, if your lawyer (me or anyone else) dies, then you should find another lawyer you like...one that will listen to you...one that is capable.
I did not invent estate planning, wills, living trusts, powers of attorney or any of these things. I practice law. I tell clients that I will be there for them as long as I'm practicing law and that I'm not planning on going anywhere anytime soon. I also help their heirs (successor trustees, etc) with post-death matters etc.
However, as a practical matter, if I died, they will be able to go to any attorney and continue working with them on their estate plan. Oh, by the way, as I type this I still have two kids to put through college and a retirement account to fund, so I'm not going anywhere just yet!
If you want to discuss your estate planning needs, please call our office at (661) 414-7100 and schedule a consultation.
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