What You Should Think About Before Your First Estate Planning Meeting

If you are preparing for your first estate planning consultation with our firm, you may have many questions. Consider the below elements of an estate plan before your meeting and reach out to our firm today to learn more. Our Montgomery County estate planning attorney is on your side no matter what.

1. Trustees, Personal Representatives, and Agents Under Durable Power of Attorney
Your assets can be controlled by the Agent under your power of attorney, if you are ever incapacitated, or by the Personal Representative of your estate once you pass away. Furthermore, the Trustee of your Living Trust is required to deal with all assets owned by the Trust in the event of either death or incapacity. It is very typical for these three roles to be served by the same fiduciaries.

2. Guardians and Conservators for Minor Children
You may want to appoint one or more guardians that can be named either individually or as a group if you have children under 18 or are thinking about having children. Naming a beneficiary in the event that the first guardian is unable or disinclined to serve is a smart approach. This question can be one of the most difficult for couples to respond to. If you find you cannot agree, it is essential that you do not allow this to stop you from visiting or revisiting your estate plan; your estate planning attorney can provide you with advice, and having some voice for the guardian of your children is preferable to allowing a court to decide without any direction from you or your spouse.

3. Personal Property
If there are any distinct items of tangible personal property (e.g. cars, clothing, jewelry, artwork, collectibles, etc.) that you would like to be given to someone other than a surviving spouse (or, in the event there is no surviving spouse, to be assigned to specific individuals rather than split as equally as possible among surviving children), create a list of the items and who should obtain them ahead of your meeting.

4. Patient Advocate Designation and Living Will
A Patient Advocate is designated to make medical decisions for you if you are unable to do so, including maintaining your wishes as described in your Living Will.

5. All Other Property
Are there any items of remaining property that you would like to go to someone other than a surviving spouse (or, if no surviving spouse, equally to surviving children)? Examples include business interests and real estate, and more.

Contact our experienced Montgomery County, Maryland firm

The attorneys at JD Katz have years of experience compassionately guiding clients in Maryland through the estate planning and administration process. Our firm also has experience with matters of elder law, business law, tax law, and litigation. For a legal team that will put your needs first, contact JD Katz today.

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