You did it! You’ve taken the first step in creating your estate plan by scheduling an initial consultation. Now what? The most important factor in determining whether your estate plan will be successful is the amount of information you provide to your estate planning attorney.
Often times, clients appear at their initial consultation without any asset information or an idea of the type of plan they want or need. Many simply schedule a consultation because they know they need something in place. As a consequence, an estate plan may not be as comprehensive as it should or could be because important missing information.
To make your estate planning consultation, and ultimately your estate plan, more effective, we recommend that you attend your consultation prepared with the following information:
- Personal information – this includes address (physical and email), phone numbers, social security numbers, and names and spellings of children and other loved ones you intend to include in your estate plan.
- Asset information – this includes an estimate of your current estate size (e.g. the combined value of all your real property, investments, life insurance, bank accounts, personal effects, etc.). Specifying the size of the estate and the types of assets helps the attorney decide what estate planning option will best suit your situation.
- Dispositive plan – Simply put, how do you want your property distributed upon your passing? Not only should this plan include beneficiary names and the amount each beneficiary should receive, it should also include who you want to serve as trustees, agents, guardians, and powers of attorney. The purpose of having a plan to bring to your consultation is to provide the attorney with a road map in developing your estate plan.
At MH, we welcome anybody who desires to establish an estate plan, regardless of preparation. We know that having all these things in place requires time and may be difficult or impossible to do prior to your consultation. That’s okay. If your circumstances permit, take the time to gather the discussed information prior to your consultation; the consultation will be more effective and your estate plan more successful.
Contributed by MH Phoenix Estate Planning Attorney, Darren L. Richardson.
What the Attorneys of Morris Hall Can Do For You:
The attorneys at Morris Hall have 100’s of years of combined experience ensuring that families’ assets are protected from probate, unnecessary taxes, creditors, ex-spouses and Medicaid spend-down. The attorneys also help those in Arizona to apply for and receive Medicaid assistance and Veterans Benefits. Our Arizona offices are located in Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale, Cave Creek, Tucson, Prescott, Flagstaff and Arrowhead. Contact us today at 888.222.1328 to schedule an appointment!
This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney in your community who can assess the specifics of your situation.
- Beyond Probate: Understanding the Drawbacks & Alternatives - September 1, 2023
- DIY Estate Planning: Worth the Risk? - August 31, 2023
- Use These Questions to Develop an Estate Plan Outline - August 30, 2023