What Information do I Need for an Estate Planning Initial Consultation?
What Information do I need for an Estate Planning Initial Consultation?
If you are interested in determining what estate planning you might need, you will want to gather the following information to be fully prepared for an initial consultation with an estate planning attorney:
- A List of Close Family Members. It is important for an estate planning attorney to get a clear picture of your family. Are you married/divorced, are there any prior marriages? Do you have children? It is important to disclose all marriages and children to your estate planning attorney so that the attorney can understand who are the natural objects of your bounty (ie. who would naturally inherit your estate through laws of descent and distribution if you did not have estate planning in place). If you are not married and do not have children, who are your next closest living relatives? Listing them, even if you are not planning on making them beneficiaries of your estate, is helpful for the attorney to understand your family tree.
- Problematic Family Members. Do you have any family members who are particularly troublesome? Perhaps a child who is irresponsible with money, or a brother who intends on challenging your Will or Trust upon your death? It is important for an estate planning attorney to see these problem areas before drafting a plan so that they can be addressed through the documents. For instance, if children are not good with money, you can have a Trustee oversee the money and distribute to your children only for certain needs.
- Fiduciaries. It is best to consider in advance who you want to make decisions over your health and/or assets upon incapacity and death. These can be family members, or they can be friends or professional acquaintances, or you can even name a corporate fiduciary such as a bank to act as Trustee. These can all be good options but you will have to decide who will be named before the estate plan is finalized.
- A Complete List of Assets. It is important to provide a complete list of your assets to your estate planning attorney so he or she can determine whether you need to make changes to the ownership of the assets (including beneficiary designations) and whether you may be subject to the Federal Estate Tax or Illinois Estate Tax. Additionally, if you own real estate, then a transfer on death instrument will need to be drafted or a Trustee’s deed.
- Funeral Instructions. Do you have any specific instructions for your funeral or disposition of your remains? You can include that information in your Will so that your family members are obligated to follow your wishes. This can be as detailed as you want, or you can be completely silent on the matter and let your family decide what is best.
- Names and Contact Information for Your Other Professionals. Do you have an accountant and financial adviser? It is a great idea to give their names and contact information to your estate planning attorney so they can be sent copies of your estate plan and so that upon your passing they will understand the plan.
Contact a Libertyville Estate Planning Attorney at Johnston Tomei Lenczycki & Goldberg LLC Today
If you are interested in estate planning and you have compiled this information, then do not hesitate to reach out to the Libertyville estate planning attorneys at Johnston Tomei Lenczycki & Goldberg LLC today at (847) 596-7494. We offer a free initial consultation for estate planning and will go through all of your information to determine the best plan for your needs. We will make sure we have a clear picture of your family, your assets, and your estate plan desires to tailor the right estate plan for your needs.