If you have made the decision to stop delaying and create an estate plan, congratulations. You’ve taken a step that most people will never take and one which will greatly help you and your family. Now that you have made the choice, you can help your estate planning attorney a great deal by taking some time to get prepared for your first meeting. There are specific documents you can bring to your first meeting with your lawyer, as well as questions you can start thinking about now so your attorney can help you devise an estate plan which fits your needs and desires.
Much of the estate planning process will be devoted to protecting as much of your property if possible. To do this, your estate planning attorney will need to know what you own. You should develop a list of any property you have, including real estate, retirement accounts, life insurance policies, as well as valuable personal property. You also need to pay attention to any debts or obligations you owe. Though you do not need to bring a complete financial statement, providing your attorney with as much detailed information as possible is always helpful.
When you have assembled all the information about your property and can look at it as a complete whole, you will naturally start thinking about what will happen to it after you die. This is where you need to think about how you want your property to pass to your heirs. Whether you want it to go to your children, grandchildren, siblings, friends, charities, or to no one at all, the decision is always up to you. Your estate planning attorney is only there to ensure that your choices are met.