So you’ve decided you need an estate plan and the only lawyer you know is the one that handled an employment issue you had several years ago. Surely this guy can draft an estate plan consistent with your needs and circumstances, right? Not necessarily.
Attorneys are similar to doctors. When you have a foot problem, you visit a podiatrist. When you have a heart problem, you visit a cardiologist. That doesn’t mean that the cardiologist didn’t learn about the foot in medical school or that he knows enough about the foot to fix your problem…it just means that his area of expertise is not the foot. Because it could be life and death, most people don’t fool around and go to the medical specialist they need for their particular medical problem.
This isn’t necessarily the case when people choose attorneys…and while it may not be a life and death mistake, having someone who is not an expert in estate planning do your estate plan could be a disaster.
Estate planning attorneys focus on estate planning and all of the complexities that are part of the practice. And remember this about estate planning…an estate plan that is incorrect is not usually something that will be discovered until it’s too late. That is, it won’t be discovered usually until you have passed away.
Remember, convenience does not always mean competence. Take your estate planning needs to an estate planning attorney. Let the employment attorney, not the estate planning attorney, work on your employment law issue.