Perhaps you have made an appointment to discuss estate planning with your attorney, but you are not looking forward to a long, drawn-out meeting.
If you prepare in advance, you can cover all the bases, and your estate planning meeting will move along faster than you anticipated.
Every estate plan is unique. Yours will reflect your particular circumstances. You may be a young parent anxious to protect your family or a retiree with significant assets. Many people start with the basics, then add other elements as they experience changes in life. Before you meet with your attorney, decide what is important to you to accomplish. Make a list of your assets and who should receive them. Keep in mind that in addition to members of your immediate family, you may want to make a favorite charity a beneficiary or make arrangements for the care of a loved one with special needs.
Once you have created and signed the documents in your estate plan, be sure to keep them in a safe place. Let your personal representative and your heirs know where they are. Do not keep the documents in a safe deposit box at the bank because following your death everything freezes and they might not be readily accessible.
In preparing for your meeting, you may decide to start with just a will and perhaps advance directives, or you might want to set up a trust or make provisions for business succession. There are many ways to develop your estate plan. Remember that changes always occur in life, and it is a good idea to review your plan every few years and make any adjustments necessary.