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...there are plenty of incompetent tax preparers and estate planners and financial planners out there.

Yes indeed!

If you are not extremely involved in this type of planning, you won't even know how to consider the options presented you by your planners.

I disagree. The planners should present their suggestions in language that a layman can understand.
As patients, we have to evaluate what doctors tell us; as homeowners, we have to evaluate what contractors tell us; as voters we have to evaluate what candidates tell us; as taxpayers we have to evaluate what TurboTax, CPA's, and Motley Fool posters tell us; and as mortal Americans with assets and children we have to evaluate what estate planning attorneys tell us.
In each case, the speaker knows more than we do about his area of expertise, but we can still decide whether what's presented makes sense. And we can generally ask questions. In your shoes, the first question I'd ask an estate planning attorney is, "What advantage would there be in hiring you over doing it myself?" If you interview 3, and none can give you a good answer to that, then you can DIY with a clear conscience.

...the biggest challenge to negotiating my father's future at this point is not managing his assets. It is managing his emotions and anxiety at having his world turned upside down....

I'm so sorry. It's a pickle. I'm not looking forward to my father's having to move. He's determined to stay put, and I'm not seeing that as viable for too much longer.

Best of luck to your family.
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