When you are ready to start developing an estate plan, one of the first important steps to take will be to consult with an attorney. This initial meeting can be a good time to discuss your situation, your concerns and your estate planning goals.
If you are able to prepare a little bit ahead of time and gather certain documents/information, however, you can get the most out of this meeting. This is because this info may be helpful to better informing an attorney about your estate, allowing you to get more precise answers about your best options for proceeding.
So, to help you get ready for an initial consultation with an estate planning lawyer, below, we have listed out some of the more important documents and information to bring with you if you can.
Helpful Items to Bring to Your Consult with an Estate Attorney
- Detailed info about your family situation – Although this may be relatively straightforward for people who don’t have a lot of family, those who have more complicated family situations (such as multiple children from different marriages, adopted children, step-children, or even just really large families) may want to create an outline of their family structure to give to the lawyer. This can be helpful to informing an estate lawyer about the various parties you may be looking to protect in your estate plan and, consequently, the specific features you may need to put in place to protect these loved ones.
- Documents related to your assets – Ideally, it’s helpful to have an inventory of your significant assets, such as your home(s), other real estate, motor vehicles, retirement accounts, insurance policies, bank accounts, etc. These assets will be central to your estate plan, and knowing exactly what they are is key to start effectively planning for them/their later distribution.
- Documents related to your liabilities – If you have liabilities, such as significant debt, bring documents related to these liabilities to the meeting also. This can provide insight regarding whether you may want to set up certain estate planning features, like trusts, to ensure your assets go to your selected loved ones later (rather than having them go to creditors).
- A list of questions – Estate planning can be confusing for those who have never been a party to it before. So, think about your biggest concerns ahead of time, and write down any specific questions you have for a lawyer. Having a list of questions prepared can help you ensure that you get the answers you need as you proceed.
Don’t Have Time to Prepare? Don’t Worry…
While we’ve provided some guidance on what people can do to get ready to meet with an estate lawyer and develop an effective estate plan, we want to note that, of course, you do not have to do anything before meeting with an attorney. All of the above information can be acquired by a lawyer after you retain his or her services.
If you can prepare, however, getting together as much of the above info as possible prior to your meeting can help you start putting your estate plan in place ASAP.
Contact a Trinidad & Pueblo Estate Lawyer at Gradisar, Trechter, Ripperger & Roth
If you are ready to devise an estate plan – or if you need help settling a loved one’s estate, a Trinidad & Pueblo estate lawyer at Gradisar, Trechter, Ripperger & Roth is ready to provide you with the highest quality legal services.
To learn more about our superior legal services and how we can assist you, contact us by calling (719) 556- 8844 or by emailing us using the contact form on this page.
From our offices based in Pueblo, we represent clients in Trinidad, La Jara, Lamar, Walsenburg, Alamosa and throughout the state of Colorado.