Planning For Estate Planning

Law Blog

You might have an upcoming appointment with an estate lawyer. Estate planning is important and making plans to discuss your wishes with a professional can help you understand what should be done. However, those making estate plans should plan for the estate planning appointment too. Read on and find out what must be considered before meeting with your estate lawyer.

Gather Documents 

Your estate lawyer needs information about your property and financial situation to help you make good decisions. For example, viewing several tax returns could provide your lawyer with information about your income and tax matters. Taxes play a big role in estate planning for many. Minimizing the tax burden on your loved ones is a goal for your estate lawyer. Gather these documents, including your tax returns, and bring copies of them with you to your appointment:

  • A list of major assets such as homes, cars, and more.
  • A list of all banking and investment institutions. Recent statements would also be helpful.
  • The names, addresses, and Social Security numbers of all beneficiaries.
  • The name of the person or persons you wish to appoint to the positions of the trustee, personal representative or executor, powers of attorney, and so on.
  • Life insurance policy information.
  • If you have made final arrangements, bring information about that. 
  • If have a will or trust already, bring a copy.

Consider Your Wishes

Decide who will be inheriting your possessions after you pass away. Keep in mind that your estate lawyer will help you make arrangements that are legal in your state. For example, in many states, you cannot leave a legal spouse out of your estate plans. Think about your treasured possessions and who you want to have them. Don't forget to consider what you wish done with your pets. You can use special trusts and leave money to caregivers for Fido or Fluffy too.

Planning for Incapacity and Healthcare Issues

Many don't automatically consider making healthcare decisions as part of estate planning. However, modern estate planning should also cover issues occurring with serious health matters as well. It's not easy to think about what should happen when you are unable to make decisions because of a health condition. However, doing so could spare your loved ones from making almost impossible choices. Talk to your lawyer about what type of medical interventions should be taken if you become too ill to make decisions.

Speak to an estate planning lawyer and get started on your estate plans now. 


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