So, you’ve taken the first step and made an appointment with an estate planning and probate attorney. Congratulations, you’ve started the process of ensuring that your loved ones and your life’s work will be protected! Now, what should you do to prepare for your first consultation? Here is a list of documents that Siedentopf Law recommends bringing to your appointment.
Documents you should bring to your first estate planning meeting:
1. Property Deeds
Bring a copy of the deed to any property you own. We will check the paperwork to determine how the property is titled, and also, we’ll use the property description as part of your Power of Attorney paperwork. If you cannot locate the deeds prior to the meeting, our law firm may be able to access those records through another research service.
2. Previous Estate Planning Documents
If you have had any estate planning documents prepared previously, such as another will or a trust, bring those papers to the appointment. We can check an see what work has been done previously. If this is your first planning appointment and you do not have any previous documents – that’s perfectly fine. That’s what we’re here for!
3. Financial Documents
A list of assets and accounts is preferred, but if you are more comfortable providing us with ballpark figures than exact figures, then that is okay, too. However, to provide accurate advice about how your estate should be handled and to prepare your estate planning documents, we will need a reasonably correct idea of those assets and accounts.
4. Contact List
When we meet for your consultation, Siedentopf Law will be asking about the important people in your life, as well as your other relationships. It is helpful, but not necessary, to have a contact list on hand with your family members and loved ones’ names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses. If this is something that you are not able to prepare beforehand, we can work on it during the meeting.
5. Life Insurance Information
You can bring a copy of your life insurance policy to your first meeting. Make sure the paperwork includes the type of policy, ownership, the company providing the insurance, and the beneficiary information.
While this is not an exhaustive list, it will help get you organized and familiar with the type of information we’ll be discussing during the meeting. If there is anything on this list that you cannot find prior to the meeting, don’t worry. You shouldn’t delay your appointment just because you cannot find an original document or piece of information. We can talk through the list of what you’ll need before we finalize your estate planning documents.
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