Why Is The Initial Interview So Critical In Estate Planning?
The initial interview with your estate planning attorney is particularly important. In this interview, the task of the attorney and the client is precisely the same. The client must convey his or her desires concerning the estate planning, his or her knowledge of the health and legal situation of the beneficiaries, and perhaps most importantly any reasonably foreseeable difficulties that are likely to arise considering the family health, jobs, and financial standing.
The attorney is likely to have three basic categories of questions. First, the attorney will need to know who will be in-charge of what you own when you are no longer able to manage your own affairs whether by illness or death. There will also need to be a backup plan in case the first person is unable to serve and it is even better if there are two levels of backup plans for either the person or persons in-charge of your affairs. The second broad category is who will receive what you own. Will everything be shared by your children? What if one of your children dies before you? Will his spouse receive his share? Will his children receive his share?
The third major category of questions will relate to when your beneficiaries will receive their portion. Will they receive it all at once as soon as you’re gone? Should they receive so much per month for a term of years? Should all of their inheritance be held in trust for an emergency or until their retirement? When will they receive if they are incapacitated or disabled? There are likely to be some specific questions that the attorney asks you that relates to the answers to the above broad topics of consideration. The attorney may ask you the nature of each heir’s employment and health.
If your beneficiary is working in a job where they are likely to be subject to lawsuits, we will want to tailor their benefit in such a way that their inheritance is protected from lawsuit creditors. Further, your attorney may ask about the health of each of your beneficiaries as well as your own health. If you have a beneficiary who suffers from crippling arthritis and diabetes, that person should probably have a different plan than his or her sibling who is in great health and runs marathons. Therefore, don’t be surprised if the attorney questions you closely concerning the health of your extended family.
What Documents Should I Bring With Me To See My Attorney For My Initial Estate Planning Consultation?
The answer to this can differ a bit depending on how your attorney handles her cases, but there are some general guidelines you can follow. You should be able to provide the attorney a good description of any specific gifts you desire to give. For example, if you are going to give your beloved ‘66 Mustang to Cousin Ned, you should probably bring the title to that vehicle along so that the attorney can see the vehicle identification number and use it in your estate planning documents to assure that cousin Ned does not get the wrong car. If you own real estate, you should probably bring a copy of a document that contains a full, complete, and reliable legal description of the real estate.
Do not rely on tax bills and the like for your legal descriptions. Find your deed or something equally reliable and detailed because the county land records can use unhelpful abbreviations and even contain errors that would cause great difficulty in administering your estate affectively. You should also know the full legal names of everyone involved in your estate. Be certain, absolutely certain, that you know the correct spelling of each name and preferably also know the additional initials that person has. Be careful to not provide short versions of the legal names.
If your cousin whom you will put in your will is known as Bob, make sure that he is not actually a Robert instead. There is nothing to gain by inadvertently creating confusion in your estate plan.
For more information on Importance Of Initial Interview, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (405) 880-8960 today.
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