I’m meeting with an estate planning attorney. What should I bring?

person looking through a file folder

Thinking about what will happen to your assets after you pass isn’t always pleasant, but it’s necessary. As such, creating the necessary documents is essential to support your loved ones upon your passing. If you’re ready to start planning your estate, knowing how to prepare is vital. Because planning an estate can be overwhelming, the following blog can help you better prepare for your initial meeting with an attorney. Keep reading to learn more about how Pennsylvania estate planning attorneys can help you through this process.

What papers do I need to bring when meeting with an estate planning attorney?

When you’re ready to plan your estate, understanding what you should bring to the initial meeting with your attorney can help speed up the process and make things go more smoothly.

The most important thing you’ll need to bring is all your financial records. This includes tax returns, mortgages, deeds, loan information, and bank statements. You’ll also need to provide any documentation regarding businesses you have stock or ownership in, as well as life insurance information.

Aside from financial records, you’ll need to bring information regarding the people you would like to name as beneficiaries and what assets you’d like them to inherit. You’ll want to make the list as comprehensive as possible and include contact information for the named beneficiary.

Finally, you’ll want to bring any information about the legal proceedings you were involved in. This includes divorce papers, child support judgments, prenuptial agreements, and any other documents that can impact the distribution of your estate.

How else can I prepare?

Aside from the aforementioned documents, there are other steps you can take to help you prepare for the meeting with your attorney. This includes creating a list of questions to help ask your attorney. This includes questions regarding the best option for any trusts you’d like to establish, clearing up any confusion surrounding the assets you plan on including and asking about the timeline of how this process will work.

It’s also important to inform your attorney of any additional concerns that you may have about your estate. For example, if you plan on leaving money to a family member with special needs, you must inform your attorney. Unfortunately, if you do not inform your attorney, you may end up disqualifying your family member from the government assistance programs they are eligible for.

Though thinking about the future can be anxiety-inducing, understanding how to make the process easier is essential. As such, taking the time to properly prepare for your first meeting with your attorney can help you make the process easier. Our team at Friedman Schuman understands the complexities of estate planning, so we are dedicated to helping you through this process to make it less overwhelming. Contact us today to learn how we can guide you through planning your estate.

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