Meeting with an estate planning attorney can be stressful. We understand. You’re not quite sure what to expect, and you are nervous to discuss the private details of your estate.
You can ease some of your anxiety by being prepared for what your attorney might ask. Some information your estate planning attorney will want to know can includes:
What Is Your Family Situation?
This might seem like a very personal question, but your attorney has a valid reason for needing to know. Laws protect certain family relationships, so it’s essential for your lawyer to know who makes up your family, and what various dynamics are present. This will help your attorney advise you on what guidelines need to be followed, and who needs to be protected.
You will need to inform your lawyer if you are married. You will also need to disclose how many children you have, and your relationship with them. For example, do you have stepchildren, or biological children, and what are their ages? Their ages are important because they will notify your attorney if you need to take steps to assign guardianship if something happens to both you and your spouse.
You will also need to let your attorney know if there is anyone you want to leave out of your will – and if there is a non-relative you want to include.
What Is Your Financial Situation?
This is necessary information to provide to your lawyer so your estate planning attorney can give you the correct guidance in terms of what to list in your estate, what estate and gift taxes will need to be followed, and more legal requirements.
Your attorney will also need to know if you hold joint accounts with your spouse, if you own your home, who the mortgage is through, and if you have credit card debt, medical expenses, back taxes, or any other outstanding debt.
What Kind of an Estate Plan Do You Want?
There are various types of estate plans. It’s essential to tell your estate planning attorney what you would like to include in your plan. This can include a will, a living trust, and other elements. By communicating your wishes to your attorney, he or she can advise you on the best plan for your situation.
When Do You Need Your Estate Plan Completed By?
When meeting with your estate planning attorney, advise him or her if you need your plan completed by a certain date. This is usually only needed on deadline if you need to show your plan to other experts – like a financial advisor, accountant, retirement planner, or someone else. Informing your attorney of this need initially will help set expectations.
What Documents Do You Have?
Your estate planning attorney will need access to certain documents when creating your plan. Your attorney will likely need your banking account statements, tax returns, retirement account information, insurance policy information, mortgage balance sheets, and other important documents. Your lawyer will tell you which documents you will need to provide. Let him or her know which of the requested forms you have access to.
Why Hire Our Estate Planning Attorneys?
When you need an estate planning attorney to help create your estate plan, let the experts at Johnstone Adams LLC represent you. We can ensure your trust is created the way you want, and your trustees are properly taken care of.
Ranked in the 2022 U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” list regionally in 12 practice areas, we have experts in many areas of law to give our clients top-notch representation. In business for more than a century, our firm can mix its experience with the ability to evolve with the changing times.