How to Prepare for an Estate Planning Meeting

Estate Planning Meeting

When it’s time to start preparing yourself and your family members for the future, it can become a little overwhelming at times. There are plenty of documents, discussions, and difficult conversations that occur while you’re planning your estate – so it’s only natural to prepare yourself accordingly. Prior to meeting with your estate planning attorney, take the time to outline and discuss what matters most to you and your family, in terms of settling your estate. You can rest easier knowing you’re fully prepared for the future!

Think about Your Important Accounts and Documents

Before you meet with a trust and estate planning attorney, it’s extra helpful to have all of the necessary documents, accounts, and financial arrangements on hand for your initial meeting. With the right documentation in hand, your estate planning lawyer will be able to start preparing your estate planning documents sooner rather than later, thus speeding up the overall process. Plus, it will make those hard to discuss subjects a little easier to navigate if you’ve already looked through them with your family. During your first meeting, be sure to bring the following documents if they pertain to you:

  • Any documentation of current retirement accounts, or pension plans
  • A recent statement of any bank and investment account information you have on file
  • Any life Insurance policies you or your spouse have
  • Any important real estate or business interests you’d like to protect and leave for your children
  • Any documentation of revocable trusts you’ve inherited, or want to pass onto your children
  • Specific contact information of family members or loved ones that will be responsible for handling your affairs

With all these documents and information, your estate planning attorney will be able to focus on asking you all the right questions, settling your affairs, and you won’t face the additional stress of feeling unprepared for your meeting.

However, if you don’t have the documents, or you know that gathering them is going to take too long, don’t delay – go ahead and set up an initial consultation with our firm and we can help you get started!

Talk through the Tough Stuff

Estate planning can be difficult at times. Talking about important life milestones, and what’s going to happen once you’re gone, is difficult for a lot of families. However, before you go and talk to your local estate planning attorney, it’s ideal to discuss the following with your spouse or family:

  • Who is going to care for any minor children in your family, if something were to happen to you and your spouse?
  • Who is going to be your acting power of attorney?
  • Who should be your health care power of attorney, in case you’re unable to make decisions regarding your medical care?
  • Who do you want to inherit your assets, such as trusts, real estate, and personal property?
  • Where do you want to be buried?
  • What kind of funeral arrangements should your power of attorney arrange for you?
  • Are there specific requests or arrangements you’d like your loved ones to make for you?
  • Who are the backups in case your chosen power of attorneys aren’t available?

While these subjects aren’t easy to navigate it, asking yourself and your spouse these difficult questions ahead of time is going to make it easier for both of you in the long run. If you need help discussing these subjects, contact a local will and estate planning lawyer near you for tips like Apple Payne Law -we’ll be able to help you navigate those tough conversations.

Consider Your Essential Documents

While every estate plan is unique, there are several potential documents that could be apart of your estate plan. Prior to going into your estate planning meeting, consider which documents are essential to you and your family, and discuss them accordingly.

  • A Will
    • Documentation that outlines asset distribution and settles your affairs after death
  • A Living Will
    • States your healthcare wishes, and any specific requirements you have regarding long term care.
  • Power of Attorney
    • Gives another person the power to legally and financially represent you
  • Trusts
    • Entrusting another person with the supervising and disbursement of your personal finances, and assets, upon your death.

While all five or more of these documents are important, it’s up to you and your spouse to decide which ones are more important for you and your family. For some, certain documents might take more precedence than others, or you could be worried about how much estate planning costs. Just be sure to discuss exactly what you need with your spouse, so you can go in confidently when you meet with your estate planning attorney. Luckily, estate planning can be more affordable than you think, so be sure to consider all of your options before you limit your estate plan.

If you’re searching estate planning attorney near you, who can help you tackle these difficult documents, contact one of the local estate attorneys at Apple Payne Law. Our team specializes in a variety of estate planning services and packages – our primary goal is to provide you and your family with the peace of mind you’ve been looking for.

Discussing such serious matters can be difficult, but if you take the time to prep for your estate planning meeting, the process will go so much smoother for you and your loved ones. If you want to provide your family with additional peace of mind, take a moment to download A Family Survivors Guide: our completely free document that can help your loved ones once you’re gone.

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Author Bio

Ronald D. Payne II
Ronald D. Payne II is the CEO and Managing Attorney of Apple Payne Law, a North Carolina law firm he founded in 2018. With more than 11 years of experience practicing law, he is dedicated to representing clients in a wide range of legal matters, including business law, estate planning, family law, probate, and traffic law.

Ronald received his Juris Doctor from the Wake Forest University School of Law and is a member of the North Carolina Bar Association. He has received numerous accolades for his work, including being awarded the 2020 Client’s Choice Award by Avvo and multiple Rising Star awards from Super Lawyers.

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