At the Floyd Law Firm, PC, our attorney’s education and experience allows us to help you in creating effective estate plans. An effective estate plan can include a Will, trusts, powers of attorney for healthcare and property decisions, and advance health directives such as living wills and healthcare proxy. Some estate plans may also require trust planning, tax planning, and other details. Your initial meeting with your attorney is bound to raise questions that you may not have thought of, and there are things that you can do to prepare in advance. When setting up a Will and other estate planning documents, we find that most clients are concerned about making the most efficient use of their time and their attorney’s time.
The more consideration that you apply towards your specific wishes and goals, the easier it can be for your attorney to create the necessary documents that best reflect your intentions.
Questions to consider in advance of your estate planning consultation may include:
- Who would you like to choose to serve as your executor–or personal representative–charged with settling your estate when the time comes to do so?
- Are there certain personal belongings or items–such as heirlooms, cars, jewelry, or artwork–that you would like to be given to someone specific?
- If you have children, or are planning for children, it is ideal to name a guardian and a backup guardian in case the first is unable or unwilling to serve within such a role.
- If you have children, who will manage any inheritance that you leave for your children or child?
- If you were to become incapacitated in any way, who do you trust to make medical decisions for you as your healthcare proxy?
- Which person in your life would you choose to act as your financial agent if you were to become incapacitated and require a financial power of attorney?
- If you wish to make any distributions to adult beneficiaries, do you have adult heirs who might benefit from having their share protected in case of divorce or creditor claims–or if they have special needs, legal or credit problems, suffer from addiction, or seem likely to divorce in the future?
- If making distributions to young beneficiaries, have you considered how these beneficiaries will receive their share of your estate?
- If you have assets that are to be passed to surviving children, do you want them to receive their share upon turning 18 or would you rather that a trustee provides specified access to the funds until the child reaches a specified age?
- If you have provided a substantial gift to a child in your lifetime–such as helping them through college or paying for a wedding–that you have not yet provided to other children, do you want to provide an equalization mechanism as part of their inheritance distributions? Similarly, if your adult children have very different financial situations–will that impact how you would want your assets distributed to them?
- Do you wish to make any charitable bequests or provide gifts to any nonprofits as part of your estate?
You may not have all the answers to these important questions right away, but you do not have to allow that to be a reason to put off scheduling an estate planning appointment. During your estate planning meeting with us, we will further explain the laws and any possible beneficial exemptions as applicable. Your attorney can provide suggestions and will help you understand all of your available options towards crafting an estate plan that truly addresses all of your needs and goals.
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