Should Married Couples Always Use the Same Estate Planning Attorney?

There are many things you combine when you get married, and you might even file a joint tax return or work with the same financial advisor or even go to the same doctor.

Whether or not it makes sense to work with the same estate planning attorney as your spouse depends on the specifics of your situation. There are benefits associated with using the same lawyer. For example, if your estate is relatively simple, and you and your spouse both have the same goals and interests, a trust and estate planning attorney that you share may be a good option. Joint representation can save money and time because there is no extra need to hire a separate lawyer and to set up two separate plans.

When you work with the same attorney, however, you, your spouse, and the attorney must all be able to agree that any information learned by the lawyer from the other spouse will be shared with the other spouse.

An engagement letter drafted between you and the estate planning attorney should cover these details. However, there are some circumstances where it makes sense to work with separate lawyers such as if your spouse has property in another state, if you and your spouse have unique communication styles, or if you cannot agree on distributions to children and want to plan for these separately. If you and your spouse are on the same page, however, and want things to stay simple, most couples turn to the same estate planning lawyer for that process.

Working with a local estate planning attorney can help to answer many of your questions and streamline your next steps.

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