No matter your age or your net worth, it is prudent for every independent adult to create an estate plan. Once you make the decision to do so, however, you may still be left with many questions. As an estate planning lawyer in Bergen County, NJ from a firm like the Law Offices of Joshua Kaplan can explain, you should consider a few key pieces of information that may help you feel more prepared when it comes time for your estate planning meeting.
Which Documents Can Estate Planning Lawyers Draft?
First, it’s important to identify the types of matters your estate planning lawyer can handle for you. Your will and testament, for example, is a critical document to discuss with your attorney. In it, you can lay out many of your wishes in terms of who will raise your children and receive your assets when you die.
It’s also prudent to make a plan for situations in which you fall ill or become injured and can longer make critical decisions. Your lawyer can set up an advanced medical directive and durable power of attorney so someone you trust can make key choices when it comes to your medical care and finances.
Additional documents your estate planning attorney can draft for you include a letter of intent and a revocable living trust.
What Information Must You Provide?
When you go to meet your lawyer, be sure to bring all the information he or she may need to properly describe your wishes. For example, note key details about all of your financial accounts, including stocks, checking accounts, and retirement accounts. While you don’t necessarily have to tell your attorney how much is in each account, make you know what types of accounts you have and where they are located. If you own a business, a description of the business’s structure and any partners you have is also necessary.
You may also wish to bring a list of your most valuable possessions to the meeting so you can decide whom you will leave these items to. If there is a charity you would like to donate to, jot down a few details about the organization’s name and location.
Finally, don’t forget to bring a list of all your immediate family members’ names, addresses, phone numbers, and birth dates. You should also gather information about any distant relatives or friends who will be included in your estate plan.
Why Form an Estate Plan?
Making an estate plan now is a smart way to ensure your loved ones are taken care of when you pass and that no legal battles ensue. Contact an estate planning lawyer today so your final wishes are recorded thoroughly and officially.