An estate planning lawyer can help you to navigate some of the most complicated aspects of your overall process. In order to be successful with this, however, you’ll need to be prepared for the kinds of documents that you might discuss in this initial conversation.
Your attorney might recommend additional strategies or tools based on your personal situation. Most law offices will first ask you to complete intake questionnaires or forms and require that you bring any documents that you already have to the initial appointment.
Preparing and organizing these things in advance or even scanning them to your attorney for a virtual meeting can help save you money as well as time. Some of the most common types of estate planning documents that you might already have include:
- A durable power of attorney, which enables a person designated on your behalf to act for you when you are unable to do so.
- A will or a trust to ensure that assets you have are distributed according to your terms during your life, in the case of certain trusts, and after you pass away, in the case of your will.
- A letter of intent, which helps to define what happens to an asset that will be passed to a beneficiary, such as special requests or funeral arrangement desires.
- Health care power of attorney, which is used to appoint someone else to make medical decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated.
- Beneficiary designations, which includes forms you might have filed with your retirement company or life insurance policy to determine who will receive those assets after you pass away.