While getting the documents you need to plan for your family's future is important, it is also important to prepare the documents your attorney will need to get those documents done. The more preparation and planning you do now, the less expensive your estate planning will be. There are five tips to keep in mind when meeting with your attorney.
STEP ONE: PREPARE A LIST OF YOUR ASSETS
It is important that your attorney have a clear picture of all the things that you own and all the people that you owe debts to. The balance of your debt and your assets is important in drafting a good estate plan. Some information that will need to be on this list is how much you obtained the item for, how much the item is currently worth, and where the item is currently located. This also applies to debts. Your attorney will need to know who you owe money to, how much you owe that person, and when you incurred that debt. Getting names and contact information is important.
STEP TWO: PREPARE A LIST OF HEIRS
It is important that your attorney know who all your relatives are. Many relatives may decide to intervene when it comes to carrying out your Will, and your attorney will need to plan for those people. Include in your list addresses and phone numbers. This will allow the attorney to quickly get in contact with these people.
STEP THREE: DECIDE WHO WILL ADMINISTER YOUR ESTATE
You also need to start thinking about who will be distributing your assets. This needs to be a person who is in a strong financial position and will be able to post a bond. It is best if this person is a resident of your state. Your lawyer will also need their contact information.
STEP FOUR: MAKE A LIST OF CURRENT MEDICAL CONDITIONS
Your attorney needs to know your current health condition as well. This comes into play when determining whether a trust is a good idea. Planning for future medical needs is part of the process, and knowing what conditions you currently have help to inform your lawyer of the best steps to take.
STEP FIVE: MAKE A LIST OF QUESTIONS
Come prepared to your first meeting. Make a list of questions in advance that you can ask your lawyer. Being informed is an important part of the process, and lawyers are only able to answer those questions people ask them.