Your first meeting with an estate planning attorney may seem a little daunting, especially if you’ve never consulted an attorney before. But your chosen estate planner is there to put your mind at ease. The initial consultation is just a conversation in which your attorney will ask about you, your family, and your goals. After you’ve shared this information, your attorney will be able to recommend a range of estate planning tools, helping you tailor a plan that meets your needs.
To get to know your situation, your attorney will ask you some questions about your life so they can create a plan that works for you. Some of the areas of your life that you may need to share about are those that can impact the type of planning you’ll need to protect your assets and family, including
Whether you’re married
How many children and grandchildren you have
Whether you’ve had any previous marriages
Your age and the ages of the people in your family
What assets you own, the value of those assets, and how they’re titled
Whether you currently have a Will, a Trust, or other estate planning
Which people you want to put in charge of your money, your children, and
other important aspects of your life in case you die or become disabled.
Your estate planning attorney asks personal questions to be prepared for any issues that may arise. The most important thing to remember is that the information you tell your attorney will remain confidential unless you give permission to disclose it.
After your attorney gathers all your information, they will review your goals with you and discuss the best strategies for achieving those goals. The two of you will agree on the appropriate strategies, and your attorney will put together a set of documents that carries out these strategies.
For example, your attorney may draft a living trust to help you maintain control of your assets during your lifetime, while keeping those assets out of probate at your death. They may also draw up powers of attorney to designate who will make financial and medical decisions for you, if you become unable to handle these matters for yourself.
Your attorney’s job is to put together a plan that achieves your goals, protect you and your assets and to ensure you understand how it works. When you leave your initial meeting, you should know the basic framework of your estate plan as well as the basic purpose for each part of your plan. You should also know what to expect from the estate planning process: the next steps and whose responsibility they are.
From simple wills to large family trusts, for over 40 years the team at the Wynn Law Firm has been dedicated to bringing the personal attention and care to each client’s situation to ensure that you and your family have peace in preparing for the future. Contact our Panama City office or Marianna office today to talk with us about how we can help you navigate planning for the future.