Preparing to Meet With Your Estate Planning Attorney

So you’ve decided it is time to develop or update your estate plan. Proper preparation for the meeting with an estate planning attorney is crucial to the development of a good estate plan.

Today the thought process must go well beyond a mechanical listing of the names and birthdates of the beneficiaries. The estate planner will need information about the nature and the type of your assets to properly advise as to available estate or income planning options and to make recommendations as to the titling of assets.

Proper titling of assets and beneficiary designations are extremely important in coordinating the overall plan. Information about beneficiaries and any special needs will help the estate planner make recommendations on the best ways to address these needs. For instance, a surviving spouse may have little experience in managing money or an adult child may be disabled and receiving government benefits.

Prior gifting to family members should also be disclosed. Cartain amounts of prior gifts to family members may limit or change tax recommendations in your favor.

Finally, include information about past or proposed giving to charities so the estate planner can make recommendations for favorable estate tax and income tax savings in connection with charitable giving.

Your estate planning attorney may have other suggestions on various charitable giving tools to benefit or enhance the overall needs and wishes of your estate plan.

Most estate planning lawyers will have a questionnaire that requests the information they will need. If possible, it is best to ask for the questionnaire well in advance of the initial meeting with the estate planner so you can be well prepared and not overlook any significant information.

Since 1980, Steven R. Warden has respectfully and courteously assisted clients in Denver with setting up their estate plans. If you are ready to discuss your own estate planning needs, please contact us today for more information.