Examples of Documents You Should Bring to Your Initial Estate Planning Consultation

Setting a time to meet with an estate planning attorney is an important step in developing an estate plan. In order to make the most of the appointment, though, it is prudent for you to think about your goals ahead of time. It is also critical for you to bring to your estate planning attorney certain information which will provide them with a clear picture of your estate and your life so that they can help you develop a comprehensive plan. If you have questions about what estate planning can do for you, it is wise to talk to an experienced estate planning attorney as soon as possible.

Examples of Documents You Should Bring to Your Initial Estate Planning Consultation 

At your initial estate planning consultation, it is important to provide your attorney with thorough information about your property and assets. Thus, you should have any documents relating to your assets and estate, so it is available for their review. This may include deeds to real property, vehicles, or other documents establishing your ownership rights, and the value of such assets. It will also include statements from bank accounts, retirement accounts, pensions, and any stock holdings. Finally, you should list any other assets that hold sentimental or monetary value and, therefore, may be identified in your will or trust. This may include art and family heirlooms.

It is important to provide as much detail as possible because your attorney will rely on these documents in drafting your estate legal documents. The more information you provide, the more you decrease the chance of the provisions of your estate plan being challenged as vague or unclear, and subsequently your assets not being distributed in accordance with your wishes. If you have an existing trust that you want reviewed, you should provide the trust documents to your estate planning attorney as well.

You should also provide your estate planning attorney with any documentation providing information about your potential beneficiaries. For example, if you have a family tree, you should bring it to your initial consultation. Otherwise, you can make a list of all of your living relatives, including your spouse, parents, children, grandparents, grandchildren, siblings, nieces, and nephews. You should do so even if you do not intend to provide for some or all of them in your estate plan. As these are the individuals that would typically inherit from your estate if you died intestate (without a Will), it is important to identify them so that you can determine whether you would like to leave them any assets or want to expressly exclude them in your estate planning documents. If you have a pre or post nuptial agreement, that is also an important document to provide.

Talk to a Dedicated Estate Planning Attorney Today

Generally, estate planning attorneys can best serve their clients when they have as much information as possible. As such, it is important for you to understand what documents you should have available for your initial estate planning consultation to enable your attorney to help you achieve your goals. If you would like to execute a will or trust or explore other estate planning tools, contact Wilson Law PLC at 866-603-5976 or fill out our contact form and we will be in touch to schedule a meeting.