What should I bring to my initial consultation with an estate planning attorney?

estate planning

If you’re thinking of making an estate plan, the first step is a consultation with an attorney. During this consultation, the attorney will review all the information about your family situation, finances, beneficiaries, and long-term goals to help you prepare the most suitable estate plan for your specific needs. For many people, a consultation with an estate planning attorney can be a stressful and overwhelming experience as they acknowledge that it is time to get their affairs in order as they face their morality. However, understanding what to bring to your initial consultation can make you feel more comfortable. Keep reading to learn what documents to bring to an initial estate planning meeting. In addition, discover how a qualified Montgomery County Estate Planning Attorney can help you protect your future. 

What should I bring to my initial estate planning meeting?

When you first step into your estate planning attorney’s office, you should ask uncomfortable questions as they will ask you various questions about your final wishes. As mentioned above, facing mortality can be challenging. However, it is essential to establish an estate plan. For an estate planning attorney to prepare your documents, they must first be provided with the following paperwork:

  • Your financial records
  • List of intended beneficiaries
  • List of intended executors
  • Prenuptial or postnuptial agreements (if applicable)
  • Divorce decree (if applicable)
  • A list of questions for your attorney

The information you provide your attorney with will be used to draft an estate plan that meets your specific needs. Although the above-listed paperwork should be enough as a general guide to establish your estate plan, your attorney may ask you to provide further details regarding your long-term goals.

Why do I need a list of my beneficiaries and executors?

When you create an estate plan, if you want your loved ones to inherit your estate and assets after you’ve departed you will have to designate them as your beneficiaries. If you neglect to appoint your beneficiaries, your estate and assets will pass through the probate process. This means the state will decide how your assets will be distributed.

Moreover, you must provide a list of the individuals you want to designate as your estate’s executors. Essentially, the executor must be someone you trust as they will carry out your wishes as specified in your will. They will manage and protect the estate’s financial assets. When you appoint an executor, it’s imperative to also choose a power of attorney whom you trust to make financial and medical decisions on your behalf in case you are unable to make these decisions yourself due to incapacity. It is crucial to select reliable individuals for these roles to ensure your last wishes are executed correctly. When providing a list of individuals for these positions to your attorney, you should provide them with the latest contact information for each person.

If you are looking to protect your hard-earned assets through an estate plan, contact one of our knowledgeable and determined team members. The legal team at JD Katz is ready to offer you individualized legal counseling today.