You have scheduled your estate planning consultation and are starting to prepare for your appointment. You think to yourself, what should I bring?
Meeting with an estate planning attorney can be a daunting task. It is difficult to confront your own mortality but then also consider your loved ones and the effect that your death may have on them financially. Here are a few things you can do to prepare:
First, consider the following questions:
- Who do you want to inherit your assets when you die? Spouse? Children? Grandchildren? Nieces and nephews?
- Who do you want to manage your affairs while you are living? Settle your estate when you die?
- Do any of your beneficiaries have any special considerations? Irresponsibility? Disability? Creditor problems?
Second, have your own questions! Ask how to accomplish your goals. Are you goals avoiding probate? Avoiding taxes? Are you concerned about how to make your things easier for your family?
Third, think about your assets. It is helpful for your attorney to know what you have and how it is titled. Make a simple list of your assets. Do you own a home? How is it titled? Any other real estate? Retirement plans? Cash accounts? Your attorney needs to know these things so that they can recommend the best course of action with regards to taxes and distributions.
Fourth, bring any existing documents you already have. It is important to review these documents to make sure they still comply with the law, and still reflect your wishes.
Lastly, enjoy your opportunity! So many people do not make a consultation with an estate planning attorney because it is scary, it is difficult, and a lack of knowledge can be intimidating. Do not be afraid or intimidated. Your attorney is there to help you, and to ease any fears you may have, while walking you through all of your options to make sure your wishes are carried out and your beneficiaries taken care of.
IF you haven’t already made an appointment to see your estate planning attorney to make sure that your estate goes to whom you want while accomplishing all of your goals.
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