If this is the first time you’ll be sitting down with your estate planning lawyer, there’s no doubt you’ll have some questions about what you need to think about or bring with you to that initial meeting.
If your lawyer does not already have a questionnaire prepared for you to fill out in advance of this meeting, you can do your own due diligence by documenting a few key things that are likely to come up during the meeting.
Use this checklist to get organized before your very first meeting with your estate planning team so that you will be able to discuss options and planning strategies if you’re ready to go to that step by hiring the attorney:
- Family information such as names, addresses, dates of birth, and any specific details about who would like to receive what in your plan
- Information about any of your retirement assets, such as with company they are with and how much is in those accounts, as well as copies of any beneficiary forms
- Details for any non-retirement assets, such as your bank account locations and any forms you’ve filed with them
- Previous details regarding any documents you’ve created with another lawyer, such as an active power of attorney form
- A list of all the tangible personal property you own that you want to be included in your estate and any initial thoughts over who you want to receive what
- Details about real estate and businesses, if applicable for your situation
In general, you want to give your estate planning lawyer a holistic perspective on what your estate looks like. You don’t need to have all the details organized by the time you meet with them, as you will surely think of other things after the fact, but this will help you get the process started as effectively as possible so that you can see a good perspective on your own estate.