You should receive an Estate Planning Intake Form from our office, prior to your first meeting. This form will guide you through the items you need to consider prior to our meeting.
In the meantime, you can start thinking about people who can manage your affairs, in the event you are unable. Such as:
- Executor – the person responsible for probating your will, distributing assets to the beneficiaries, and filing the estate tax return, if necessary.
- Trustee – the person responsible for the long-term management of property for the beneficiaries.
- Guardian of Minor Children – the person who will take physical care of your minor children should both parents die.
- Guardian – the person who will take physical care of you in the event you are incapacitated.
- Power of Attorney – the person who will be responsible for handling your financial affairs in the event you become incapacitated.
- Medical Power of Attorney – the person who will make medical decisions for you in the event you are unable to make them yourself.
In some cases, the same person may be able to handle several of these designations. But there are times you will want different people to manage the different areas. These are the types of decisions we can help you with.
And finally, start thinking about how you would like to distribute your property in the event of your death.
You do not have to have all of these decisions made before our meeting. We know this is not easy to think about and The Cawlfield Law Firm is here to help!
Are there any documents that would be helpful to bring to my first estate planning meeting?
Although it is not required that you bring these items to our first meeting, gathering your financial documents is certainly helpful.
- Deeds to any real estate.
- Financial statements. This includes any bank accounts, retirement plans, mutual funds, etc.
- Business agreements. If you own a company or have an interest in a partnership, your attorney will need to see a copy of your business agreements, including leases and buy-sell agreements. Your estate plan cannot be completed without first knowing if there are provisions in a business agreement regarding the disposition of your interest at death, particularly if you have partners.
- Trademark, patent and copyright registration certificates.
- Stock certificates.
- Life Insurance policy information.
- Copies of your current estate plan documents, if any.
- Divorce agreements, premarital agreements, and other relevant contracts.