So you’ve decided to set up an appointment with a trusted estate planning attorney – now what? There are a few things you should consider before visiting your estate planning attorney in order to make best use of your initial consultation. They include:
- Know your family members.
- Though it sounds rather obvious, really know your family: your spouse’s Social Security number, your children from your previous marriages’ birthdays, when your former marriage ended, your ex-spouse’s children, and so on.
- Do you have a prenuptial or post nuptial agreement? If so, you’ll want to bring a copy with you to your appointment.
- Know your assets and debts.
- Real property, stocks, bonds, and savings accounts.
- Do you own a business? Know what type of business you own (sole proprietorship, limited partnership, limited liability company, or corporation) and any agreements or licenses associated with the business.
- Have an idea of the value of your personal property: automobiles, boats, planes, artwork, jewelry, coins, and other valuable items.
- Assets include retirement benefits and life insurance.
- Know who you intend to be your beneficiaries.
- This is arguably the main purpose for meeting with your estate planning attorney – so the attorney can help you put in writing who you’d like to have your property when you pass. Know who you want to take your real property, your personal property, your cash, your stock options, and so on.
- Conversely, know who you don’t want to take your property. When your will is probated, you want no room for question as to whether a beneficiary was not included because you forgot about them (and you actually meant for them to inherit certain property) or rather, the beneficiary was rightfully not included because you intended to leave that individual out.
- Know who you want your trustee, child guardians, property agent, and healthcare agents to be.
- This is one of the most important components of estate planning. These individuals will help execute your will or help make end-of-life decisions for you should you become unable to do so. Take good care in who you choose to appoint to these positions, and be sure to advise them of their role so they can best prepare themselves and know what choices to make if and when they need to make them for you.
Estate planning is a highly complex area of law. If you are interested in creating an estate plan or have any questions regarding your current estate plan, please contact the experienced estate planning attorneys at Lonich Patton Ehrlich Policastri for further information. The attorneys at Lonich Patton Ehrlich Policastri have decades of experience handling complex estate planning matters, including living wills and trusts, and we are happy to offer you a free consultation.
Please remember that each individual situation is unique and results discussed in this post are not a guarantee of future results. While this post may detail general legal issues, it is not legal advice. Use of this site does not create an attorney-client relationship.