When I meet you as a new potential client, I not only need the “basics” – contact information, names of children, what you own and who gets what; I also need to understand what types of assets you own, how the assets are titled, and what portion, if any, are in retirement or “qualified” accounts. I also need to know who you want to select to be your agents or representatives if you are incapacitated and upon death.
To help me better understand your needs and to offer the best advice, please bring along the following to your initial estate planning consultation:
- Itemized list of assets (bank and brokerage accounts, real estate, Retirement accounts, Life Insurance policies, etc.), including current value and the individuals listed as owners, account holders, and beneficiaries.
- Copies of all existing estate planning documents, including Wills, Trusts, Powers of Attorney and Medical Directives.
- Copies of all Real Estate Deeds (if you do not have a copy of your deed, it can often be located on the county clerk’s website under Official Documents)
- List of names, addresses, and telephone numbers of those people you are considering naming as your representatives for financial and health matters if you are sick. Also, consider who you will select to be your representatives upon death.
If you do not have all of the information handy, do not worry; I can help you obtain it. The important thing is to take that first step. Attend the consultation and get started on planning for the future. Don’t wait until it’s too late.