CONSUMER GUIDE:

LEGAL PROFESSIONALS

NAOSA Gold Standards of Professional Practice™​

Legal Professionals

The goal of the NAOSA Gold Standards of Professional Practice™ in the legal profession is to ensure that the client understands expected charges and is not surprised by additional fees. Although legally obligated to bill correctly and not overcharge, at times, legal professionals will bill for services that are unexpected by the client. This is not to imply that the professional is acting unethically. Many times a client will agree to certain work and, later, request additional services without fully understanding that this will increase the total cost.

With the goal of avoiding confusion and unexpected charges, all legal professionals who are members of NAOSA agree to the following:

NAOSA Gold Standards of Professional Practice™

1. Fixed prices or a “maximum fee pledge” for work pertaining to wills and trusts
. All work will be quoted prior to engagement agreement between the Client and Legal Professional. If an exact amount cannot be given, then what is known as a “maximum fee pledge” will be offered.  A maximum fee pledge guarantees that the work will not exceed the quoted maximum fee.

2. Additional Charges. If at any time a Client requests additional work to be performed that is outside of the scope of the original work request, the client will be notified in writing. For example, if a Client’s original request is a will or trust and the Client requests advice on a matter unrelated to wills and trusts, the legal professional will communicate to the client the that there will be additional charges relating to the additional work.

 Are you a professional in the legal field? We welcome your constructive input to assist in the protection of all consumers. Please contact us.

An Interview with Elder Law Attorneys:

We had a call recently with several elder law attorneys with the goal of demystifying elder law and estate planning. We focused on common questions during the interview, topics such as when to see an attorney, anticipated costs, how NOT to get over charged and many other topics.

One of the sayings we use at NAOSA is “Done is better than perfect.” Although admittedly not the best quality video (we are working on improving), we think the content makes it worthwhile viewing and helpful in clarify many elder law topics.

Feel free to jump right to your topic of interest via the time marks are below the video.

Time marks:

3:30 – What is an Elder Law Attorney

7:00 – Minimum Suggested Planning

8:00- What is Long Term Care Planning

10:27 – How to protect yourself from long term care costs and crisis

13:52 – The difference between a will and a trust

15:12 – When You should start to plan and when should you update your plans

16:55 – What is a Living Will

20:00 – How to Pick Your Power of Attorney

22:40 – How much power does my Power of Attorney actually have

23:46 – What is a Medical Power of Attorney

25:28 – How to protect yourself from a family member Stealing your money

31:22 – Should you hire a “Corporate Fiduciary” (an outside company or individual) to be your power of attorney

38:00 – Common Planning Mistakes

42:30 – Estate Planning vs. Elder Law – What’s the Difference

46:50 – Costs of planning – Attorney Fees

52:48 – Flat Fee vs. Hourly billed

55:40 – Attorney Fee Agreements – “When to Run!”

58:40 – How to make sure you are not overcharged