If you're reading this article, it means that you've put at least some thought into estate planning, which is an important first step. This is such an important part of taking care of your loved ones, but far too often, people fail to take action and leave their loved ones in a very difficult position.
There are many attorneys who offer estate planning services, but it is essential that you find the one who is right for you. Let's go over a few basic things to keep in mind when looking for an attorney to handle this task for you, and what you can do to be sure that you are ready for your consultation.
Is estate planning an area of emphasis in their practice?
You want to be sure that the firm or attorney you select dedicates significant time to estate planning. This means that the attorney will be informed about the best things to do in order to help you protect your assets and your family. If you go with a firm that only does estate planning every so often, you could be creating a plan that lacks the comprehensiveness that you need to ensure things proceed according to your final wishes.
Will the firm be able to meet your estate planning needs?
There are many different parts of an estate plan. First, you may need documents that state what should happen to you in the event that you are unable to make decisions about your medical care. Next, you will need to determine what property should go to certain family members. There are many different ways to pass down these items, so you need to know what options - whether it is a trust, simple will or both, will work best for your situation.
What do you need to have ready prior to your first meeting?
When you have your consultation, you should be prepared to provide basic personal information about you and your immediate family. In addition to this, to make the most of your consultation, have information about all your assets prepared, and take some time to write down your Estate Planning Goals in advance.
The estate planner should then help you to assign an Executor of your estate, guardians for any minor in your care should you die while they are still minors, terms of distributions for your assets, preventative tax planning on your estate, etc. This is something you want to address as soon as possible and revisit over time, as updates are needed to address changes to your situation. Contact an attorney that focuses on estate planning today.