Clients often wish to prepare for their first meeting with their estate planning attorney. Remember, this list is merely a guideline of what you will discuss. The most harmful thing a client can do is fail to complete an estate plan because they have not been able to answer all of the following questions.
All that is required before you meet with one of our attorneys is simply gather your thoughts and questions. You do not have to have made any final decisions or collected information about your assets. Our attorneys have extensive experience in counseling individuals and couples when making the important decisions involved in creating an Estate Plan.
- When you arrive at our office, you will be greeted by one of our assistants who will ask you to fill out a form of basic information including your full legal name, your home address, your telephone numbers, and your children’s full names and dates of birth.
- Your attorney will help you decide at what age and under what circumstances your children or other beneficiaries should receive their inheritance. Clients often choose to put restrictions on an inheritance such as graduating college.
- You will also work together to designate a successor trustee and executor. This is the individual or professional that will handle all financial matters once you are gone. If your children have not yet reached the ages or criteria explained in question two, this is the person that will be a “financial parent.” They will not be the guardian, but they will give your children money for college, rent, etc.
- Perhaps the most important decision your attorney will guide you through is designating guardians for your children if they are under 18 and something happens to you. This is often the most difficult decision and prevents clients from completing their estate plan. Keep in mind, however, that (1) it can be easily changed at any time and (2) it is better to name anyone now than to not move forward with the planning.
- You will also designate a person to make healthcare decisions if you are unable to do so for yourself.
- Your attorney will also ask you general questions about your assets. They will be simple questions that you will most likely be able to answer without any research. We merely need to determine what your estate includes so that we may best determine what type of planning you need.
Keep in mind that you may also change any of these provisions. Again, this list is simply provided so that you may know what to expect when meeting with your attorney. You do not need to make any decisions before visiting us.