Getting Ready to Meet Your Estate Planning Lawyer
If you've decided that it's time to take care of something you've put off for far too long, then you might want to do some easy preparation first. Being ready to make big decisions about your estate plans and having needed documents ready can save you time and money, so read below and find out what to do to get ready to meet with your estate-planning lawyer.
Think About Your Goals
Everyone approaches their estate planning with unique viewpoints and needs. It's important that you spend some time thinking about what you want to accomplish with your plan. You might want to begin with a list of your assets and some ideas about what you want to happen to them after you pass away. If you know you want your son or daughter to get your collection of firearms, now is the time to put that in writing. Bequests can be made using either a last will and testament or a trust. Your attorney can advise you about which will work best for you. Other issues that deserve your consideration before your meeting include healthcare planning, medical decisions, pets, power of attorney, and more.
Be of Sound Mind
While you may not be worried about the potential for fraud and wrong-doing, your estate lawyer will. When you create and sign estate documents, you should be healthy and clear-headed. If you had help making some of your decisions, that might be seen as undue influence. Be sure you are the one making the decisions and not a family member or someone else. Your attorney can advise you but cannot make decisions for you.
Bring Some Documents With You
You can help the attorney get a good start by providing the below documents when you appear at the office:
- Your most recent tax return
- Life insurance policies
- List of assets like vehicles, real estate, and any other valuable property
- Social Security numbers of you and anyone who is on your list of beneficiaries
- The name of the person you want to administer your estate and the trustee
- Account numbers for investment, checking, and saving accounts
- A copy of any current estate documents like a trust or a will
What Else to Know
You should view your estate plan as a flexible thing that can, and should, be modified as needed. Everything doesn't have to be done at once and it makes sense to do one thing at a time. To find out more, speak to an estate planing lawyer.