How to Prepare for a Meeting with an Estate Planning Lawyer
Part of the Wills & Trusts Kit For Dummies Cheat Sheet
You want your will and trust to be legal, so it makes sense to meet with a lawyer to form your estate plan. Lawyers who specialize in estate planning can help you cover all contingencies and help make sure that your plan is complete. Use the tips in the following list to prepare for your meeting:
Ask about your lawyer’s experience. You’ll benefit if your lawyer has worked with estates similar to yours.
Before you meet an estate planning lawyer, most law offices will provide you with a questionnaire to complete and a list of documents to take with you to your meeting. You will save time and possibly money by completing the questionnaire and compiling the documents before your consultation.
Be clear on what estate planning documents are included in your estate plan and what your lawyer will charge to complete those documents. Get an estimate of how much your complete estate plan will cost.
Discuss estate taxes with your lawyer. Estate tax law is in a state of flux. Your lawyer can help you figure out whether your estate is likely to have to pay estate taxes and, if so, how to minimize or avoid them.
Discuss any special circumstances with your lawyer. Do you have a family business? An heir with a disability? Children from a prior marriage or relationship? Your lawyer needs to know your needs in order to plan your estate.