Estate planning is critical for anyone that owns property and is over the age of eighteen. With estate planning, an individual can rest assured their wishes will be carried out so their estate can be settled according to their planned requests. Although individuals are not required to hire an estate planning attorney, hiring one makes the process much easier and ensures the estate planning documents are legally binding and appropriately filed.
How to Get Started With the Attorney
To get started, the individual needs to first schedule their appointment with the attorney and begin to gather all of their financial documents. There are several pieces of information the attorney will need to help their client in the process. The following should be brought to the appointment for estate planning.
- Family information on everyone that will be mentioned in the will
- Information on all non-retirement assets
- Information on all retirement accounts
- Information on all life insurance policies
- Real property information
- Business information
Before meeting with the attorney, it is wise for a person to sit down and make some notes on who they want to be their beneficiaries and who they would want to become the caregiver for their minor children. A person should also consider who they want to take over for them and make decisions, should they become incapacitated. The more pre-planning a person does, the faster the process will proceed when they meet with their attorney.
What to Expect
The planning process may take more than one appointment with the attorney, depending on the services being sought. The attorney will draw up the will for the individual and can help in drawing up a trust to assist the beneficiaries in preventing the loss of their inheritance to taxes.
Once the documents are drawn up, the individual will need to carefully review them and then they will be signed in front of witnesses and a notary public to ensure they are legally binding and will hold up in court. Those who are considering estate planning need to meet with an attorney as soon as possible so they can get the process started.