Getting ready for an appointment to create a plan for your final days and beyond takes some preparation. Without the proper documentation in hand, it may drag out the process with your attorney and create the need for extra follow-up appointments. With a jam-packed schedule, this type of protracted planning may not fit. Therefore, having what you need at your first appointment may move the process along. To aid in the preparation, follow this checklist, and gather these items to bring to your first appointment.
Basic Family Information
Your family is the reason you feel compelled to create an estate plan. You heard all about the toll dealing with probate and state intestacy proceedings can take on a family, and you want to spare yours from going through that. When sitting down for that first appointment, bring along a family tree of sorts. Setting out your family dynamic, especially those who you wish to address more fully in your planning documents, can help an estate planning lawyer, like an estate planning lawyer in Memphis, TN, lead you down the proper path for planning.
Financial Account Information
You may have one checking account and one retirement account, or you may have a diversified set of financial receptacles. Bring along all account information for the following:
- Retirement accounts, both those held with a current employer or otherwise
- Bank account holdings
- Life insurance
Having all of these account numbers and other identifying information can help tremendously when assembling your estate plan. While the values of these may fluctuate, the account numbers should not. Even if they do, keeping your estate planning lawyer abreast of these changes can help when it comes time to divide them up after your death.
Comprehensive Property List
Along with accounting information, you need to have an accurate picture of the real property you have. This would include things like your home, investment property or other tangible assets. You may own these outright or jointly with someone else. Regardless, they need to be addressed in your plan.
Decisions You Have Made
While planning for this session, you may have already made some decisions about aspects of the estate. For starters, you may have chosen a guardian to care for your children should you pass away before they reach 18 years of age. You may have also chosen someone who will become your healthcare power of attorney in the event you become unable to make medical decisions. Address these at your session so your attorney can incorporate them where appropriate in your paperwork.
A comprehensive estate plan takes careful planning and preparation. Having the proper paperwork front and center during the initial planning session will help you stay on task and achieve everything you wanted the first time.
Thanks to Patterson Bray,for their insight into preparing for an estate planning appointment.