5 Tips When Preparing for Your Estate Planning Meeting

If this year has taught us anything, it’s that life as we know it can change in a moment. It can be overwhelming to begin the process of estate planning, especially since even thinking about when we might pass away can be a difficult subject to approach. Before you start your estate plan, we have a few essential tips that will help you prepare.

Get a list of assets and liabilities.

Before your meeting, you will want a list of things such as your mortgage, your bank accounts, investments, businesses you own, valuable belongings, insurance policies, and retirement accounts. Make sure you know the value of each and bring any of the latest documents or statements regarding these assets. Also, note whether you are in joint ownership with another person. Having all this information on hand at the start will make your attorney’s job a lot easier as they prepare your estate.

5 Tips When Preparing for Your Estate Planning Meeting

Consider who you will to leave things to.

Make a specific note of any items in particular you want left to a specific person in preparation for your meeting. Even if an item isn’t valued at too much money, things can get complicated after someone’s death. Another element of estate planning is trusts. These are trusts that you will be creating for your children and grandchildren. You may want to distribute the trust evenly or in specific portions based on their age.

Decide who will be the trustee.

The person you name as the trustee of your will is the one in charge of settling your estate after your death. They will be collecting assets, paying debts and expenses as well as any taxes due. This person will distribute the assets as well. Most people name their spouse, but in the situation where both you and your spouse die, consider naming one more person as the successor.

Name someone who can decide on medical decisions.

The health care proxy is an essential aspect when planning for incapacity. In the health care proxy, you are naming a person who will make health care decisions for you in case you are incapable of doing so. Take time to decide who would be the best person for this role.

Name someone who will be power of attorney.

Someone who is power of attorney has a similar role as to the health care proxy, except you are naming someone who takes over any money-making decisions throughout your life. Remember, however, this will only affect you if you are incapacitated.

If all of this feels overwhelming and you end up with more questions as a result, don’t worry. Here at Hedtke Law Group, we are here to help you with all of your estate planning needs. We hope you are prepared as much as you can be for this challenging process.