You have probably been gently prodded or even pushed by well-meaning family members and friends to finally create an estate plan. If you have taken the important step of making an appointment, or plan to do so in the near future, you are likely wondering what to expect from your first meeting. Although each meeting is unique, there are some common things that occur at your first estate planning meeting, including:
- Your attorney will gather some basic information and run a conflicts check before any sensitive information is shared.
- If you are married or are in a domestic partnership or union, it is usually best that your partner attend the initial appointment with you.
- An overall idea of the type and value of your assets should be revealed to your attorney.
- Family relationships will be explored to determine how you wish your assets to be distributed upon your death.
- Any business interests that you have will be discuss so that you can formulate a business continuity or succession plan for those interests.
- Any known medical issues will be discussed as well as your thoughts on incapacity planning.
- Gifting, charitable interests and any other philanthropic objectives of yours will be explored to ensure that they become part of the overall plan.
Once you and your attorney have touched on all of the above, you will be able to sit down and create a comprehensive estate plan that will protect you and your loved ones now an in the future.