What to Bring Along When Meeting With an Estate Planning Lawyer

Posted on: 24 February 2020


Estate planning and writing wills can be overwhelming and stressful, and that's the reason most people seek professional assistance from wills and estates lawyers. These experts offer the guidance one requires to make informed choices and can help you as well if you intend to plan your estate. The key to having a fruitful meeting with the attorney you choose to work with is to prepare adequately. You have to bring the documents that will enable the attorney to do their job effectively. While each family situation varies, this piece will outline some essential documents you should bring.

Documents or wills you already drafted

If you had written a rough copy of your will or any other form of estate planning document, you should consider bringing them for the meeting. These old versions will make things easier for the lawyer to do their job as they will know what you require. Don't worry if you haven't written any documents – you can still tell the lawyer what you want, and they'll implement it.

Asset information

Before a wills and estates lawyer can start planning your estate, they will require your bank, investment and retirement statements. Real estate documents, insurance, house deeds, vehicle papers and other crucial assets papers might also be required. These documents will offer a clear picture of all your assets, as well as any contact information that's required for verification. 

List of beneficiaries

You cannot plan an estate without beneficiaries. So remember to draft a list of the people you would like to leave your properties or estate to. This may include your spouse, children, grandchildren and step-children. Make sure you write down their full legal names, contact information and ages. You may also include trustees, guardians, nieces, nephews, cousins, parents, personal representatives and siblings as your beneficiaries. If you plan on donating your properties to charity, then you should write the names of the organisations too.

Funeral directives

Estate planning is not just about allocating your estate and companies to your beneficiaries. You can also choose to leave instructions on how your funeral should be handled, as well as the funds they'll use for the same. This way, you will lessen their burden once you are gone and make sure everything is handled well. If you don't want to plan the funeral, you can appoint someone to do it on your behalf when the time comes.