So you just set up a time to meet with an estate planning lawyer- now what? What do you need to think about in advance or prepare to bring with you to that first meeting?
In your first meeting, prepare to bring a rough list of your assets and accounts that you have. This means that you can then discuss what should be part of your overall estate plan.
If you have other documents, such as beneficiary forms, wills, trusts, or other planning tools you created in the past, bring these as well. Whether you decide to revoke those previous creations and instead create new documents in line with your current plans.
If you have information on other items in your taxable estate that do not include account statements, such as vehicles or jewelry, you might want to list these out and also bring with you any papers on appraisals already accomplished by you. This is especially important if you believe that your estate might be close to the federal taxable limit and you want to be clear about whether or not you need advanced planning tools.
When you meet with your estate planning lawyer, you want to know that you have considered all the broad issues together and have a plan that meets your needs now and can also evolve over time to adjust to your life changes.
Another thing to bring with you to your first meeting is a list of questions you have for your lawyer. During your initial consultation, you can make the decision about whether or not this is the right fit for you to work with this lawyer. Bring a notebook to keep track of your answers to these important questions.