How To Get The Most Out Of Your Estate Planning Meetings

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Estate planning is an essential aspect of adult life, but many people need clarification on what it is, how to get started, and how often it needs updating. Knowing what to bring and what topics to address when you sit down with your legal consultant for an estate planning meeting is the first step toward getting your affairs in order.

How To Get The Most Out Of Your Estate Planning Meetings

During an estate planning meeting, you will likely discuss your current financial standing, future financial goals, health and well-being, personal and family medical history, and family plans. To get the most out of your preliminary estate planning meetings, consider what specific aspects of your estate you hope to discuss with your attorney and begin to gather relevant documents. Here is a list of a few things you can do to help ensure that you are as prepared as possible for your first estate planning meeting.

  • A written list of your questions or concerns that you can review with your estate attorney.
  • Financial account information and institutions, including bank information, credit cards, mortgages, and loans.
  • Financial statements such as savings and bank statements, retirement plans, annuity contracts, and insurance policies.
  • Deeds to any homes or properties that you own.
  • Prenuptial or other such marriage agreements.
  • Contact information for any other professional advisors you may consult, like financial advisors such as CPAs or other insurance professionals and any other attorneys you consult.
  • Contact information for your general practitioner or physician and any medical specialists you see.
  • Contact information for family members, people you currently have named as trustees, guardians, executors, or agents under a power of attorney.
  • Contact information for charities you favor and any spiritual or religious advisors you consult.
  • A list of any additional people you want to name in positions of authority, such as guardians, executors, trustees, or agents under a power of attorney.

Estate planning is a long process that needs careful consideration. Careful estate planning ensures that your assets are distributed according to your wishes, not the allocation process laid out by state law. Proactive estate planning helps your family or other beneficiaries avoid the complications or additional expenses of navigating and settling your affairs and gives you the peace of mind that things will be handled according to your specific wishes. Preparing these items before your initial meeting with an attorney will help you begin the journey with confidence and precision.