What information should I gather before visiting my attorney to talk about estate planning?

February 6, 2018
What information should I gather

When you are ready to develop your estate plan, it is helpful to gather important papers and think about a some critical issues in preparation for meeting with your estate planning attorney.  A few things to consider and examples of documentation to have for your consultation include: 

  • Your wishes for the distribution of your assets
  • Names of an executor and alternate executor.  Think about which individuals you would trust to manage the affairs of your estate
  • Selection of guardians of your minor children. Who would you trust to care for your children?
  • Summary of your assets and your approximate net worth.  This is especially important to consider in high asset estate planning because if your net estate, including life insurance, exceeds the federal estate tax threshold, tax planning may be necessary to avoid substantial estate taxes after your death.
  • Does anyone in your family have a disability?  Be sure to discuss relevant information about the nature of the disability and the long-term prognosis for that person so you can adequate plan for his/her needs.
  • Any existing estate planning documents (wills, powers of attorney, trusts, guardianship orders)

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