What Should I Bring to My Initial Consultation With an Estate Planning Lawyer?

signing paperwork

The first meeting with an estate planning lawyer is important, so it is a good idea to take some time to gather all of the important paperwork you will need. Before a Woodland Hills, California estate planning attorney can help you write out a will and other plans, we have to know a bit about you first. Bringing the right things to our initial meeting can make the process go a lot smoother.

What Should I Have With Me?

When you meet your estate planning lawyer for the first time, you should be prepared with all of the paperwork that you need to get right down to business. We suggest bringing:

A list of executors: It is important to decide who will have power over your estate and other assets if you were to pass away or if you are unable to make decisions for yourself. Power of attorney gives someone the ability to make decisions about your estate. Medical power of attorney allows someone to make your healthcare decisions for you if you are unable to. You need to pick out people you can trust for these positions.

A list of beneficiaries: If you have some idea of how you want to pass down assets and your estate, you should have some idea of who will be your beneficiaries. You should have their names and their contact information. If you do not choose beneficiaries and give your estate planning lawyer this info, your assets may have to go through the probate process. This can take long and you cannot be sure that everything is going to go to who you want it to go to.

Your financial records: It is difficult to determine who gets which assets if your estate planning attorney does not have access to your financial records. It is in your best interest to present a complete picture of your finances. Bring along paperwork like:

  • Any deeds to real estate
  • Statements from checking, savings, and retirement accounts
  • Any business agreements you are a part of
  • Your life insurance policy
  • Stock certificates
  • Evidence of any intellectual property, like trademarks, copyrights, and patents

If you forget any of these important pieces of paperwork, that can make planning your estate more difficult.

Which Questions Should I Ask an Estate Planning Attorney?

You should also think about your unique situation and what exactly you plan to do with your estate. Maybe you have charitable endeavors or a loved one who may need assistance after you are gone. You can ask questions like:

  • How can I set up a trust?
  • How can I care for a loved one with special needs?
  • Can I leave money behind to care for my pet?
  • What is the best way to leave money or other assets to charity?

Do not be afraid to ask any questions that you think of in this meeting.

Schedule Your Consultation Today

If you are ready to plan your estate and properly distribute your assets, contact the Law Offices of Yacoba Ann Feldman. We would love to schedule you an initial consultation.

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