What to Bring When You Meet with Your Estate Planning Attorney

As an estate planning law firm, we are not only well-versed in the law. We’re trusted advisers. And any adviser needs information to thoroughly analyze your situation and develop the best strategies for you. So, when you meet with an estate planning attorney for the first time, what information should you bring with you?

Contact Information

Your attorney will need to be able to reach you so make sure you provide your current contact information. And remember to keep your attorney apprised if you move or travel between homes.

Your attorney will also need to have the addresses and phone numbers for people you select as beneficiaries, executors, trustees, and agents. In some cases, state law requires that addresses and phone numbers for agents appear in estate planning documents. Occasionally, estate distribution may be held up because heirs cannot be located easily.

Specific Bequests

Before coming to your appointment, take a few moments to assess your assets. Do you have personal items that have sentimental value to someone in your life? Are there family heirlooms that need to be passed to your descendants. Bringing specific information about items that may make up your specific bequests helps your attorney prepare the right plan for you.

Financial Information

You may feel a little uncomfortable discussing your finances with your attorney. To completely assess the type of estate plan you need, though, your attorney does need to see some pretty specific information about your financial accounts and assets.

The size of your estate can make a big difference in the strategies your attorney develops for you. For example, the size of your estate will determine whether you need a plan that reduces your tax burden. A few years ago, the IRS estate tax exemption limit for estates changed from what was once $1 million to over $5 million. Since the exemption is indexed to inflation, that amount will change periodically. Your attorney needs to know if the value of your estate puts you in danger of paying estate tax.  In addition, your attorney needs to understand if you have designated beneficiaries directly on certain assets, e.g. life insurance policies and IRA’s, since those designations will supersede directives within a Will or Trust.

Rest assured, though. Maintaining confidentiality of clients’ information is one of the most important duties an attorney owes to clients. At Law Offices of John Mangan, P.A., we do not take that duty lightly. We routinely collect and safeguard our clients’ most sensitive data.

Conclusion

Meeting with an attorney doesn’t have to be stressful. Providing detailed information to your attorney makes your estate planning process more efficient. And once it is done, you can have peace of mind knowing that you’ve taken care of your loved ones.

Call to Action

If you’ve already taken the step of calling Law Offices of John Mangan, P.A., for an appointment, thank you. If you have not, please contact us at 772-324-9050 or by using our Contact Form. We assist clients throughout Florida, including Martin and St. Lucie Counties, and look forward to helping you with your estate planning needs.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

3 Essential Tools For Business Estate Planning
3 Reasons To Review Your Estate Planning Now
7 Damaging Misconceptions About Florida Estate Planning
Avoid The High Cost Of Bad Estate Planning
Business Succession: An Important Part Of Your Estate Planning
Diy Estate Planning: Is It Worth The Risks?
Estate Planning 101: Five Essential Steps In Creating A Living Trust
Estate Planning 101: How To Have Difficult Conversations With Your Loved Ones
Estate Planning 101: If You Own Firearms, Consider Creating A Gun Trust
Estate Planning 101: The Advantages And Disadvantages Of An Irrevocable Trust
Estate Planning Basics: Why Avoiding Probate Is Preferable
Estate Planning Beyond The Will: The Importance Of Powers Of Attorney
Estate Planning For Business Owners
Estate Planning For Parents Of Children With Disabilities: Six Key Issues To Consider
Estate Planning: 3 Tips To Help You Begin
Estate Planning: Do You Have A Plan For Your Digital Assets?
Estate Planning: It’s Never Too Early To Begin
Estate Planning: Understanding The Role Of Executor
Four Disastrous Estate Planning Mistakes To Avoid
High Net-Worth Estate Planning: 5 Potential Methods To Help Minimize Estate Tax Liability
How Divorce Affects Your Estate Plans
Isn’t Estate Planning For The Elderly Or The Ultra Wealthy?
New Year’s Resolution – Time To Update My Estate Plan
Secure Your Legacy: Five Often Overlooked Questions That Must Be Answered By Your Estate Plan
Top Estate Planning Excuses
What Are Some Of The Most Effective Estate Planning Strategies For Asset Preservation?
Why Do I Need To Hire An Estate Planning Attorney?

Written by John Mangan, Esq.

John Mangan, Esq.

I’m an attorney in Palm City, FL, and I serve clients throughout Martin County, including Stuart, Palm City, Hobe Sound, and Indiantown, as well as those in St. Lucie County, the Treasure Coast, Palm Beach County, and other parts of Florida. The Law Offices of John Mangan, P.A., is an innovative firm providing estate planning services to clients in Florida. We focus primarily on wills, trusts, asset protection, guardianship, and probate administration.