What to Bring to Your First Estate Planning Appointment

When you come in for your initial estate planning consult, it is helpful to have some information available for review. If it is your intention to move on past the initial consultation for the actual preparation and execution of estate planning documents, the attorney will need even more information. In preparation for the appointment, begin to gather information and ask yourself questions about the following:

What are my assets?

Think about everything you own: homes, land, condos, vacant lots, trailers, cars, golf carts, boats, bank accounts, CDs, retirement accounts, life insurance policies, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, collectibles, antiques, safe deposit boxes, cash, prepaid funerals and cemetery plots.

What are my liabilities?

Think about everything you owe: mortgages, car notes, credit card debt, medical bills, personal loans, student loans and tax debt.

Who do I want to name as my power of attorneys?

Think about who you want to be the person who handles your finances and/or medical needs if you are unable. The attorney will need the full name, address and phone numbers for these individuals. Try to think of a primary and an alternate back up in the event the primary is unavailable. You don’t have to use the same person for each document and, in the situation of spouses, you don’t have to pick the same person as your spouse (ie. Wife choses her sister as an alternate and Husband chooses his brother).

Who do I want to name as my personal representative?

If you are going to create a Last Will and Testament, it will be necessary to determine who you wish to name as your personal representative and alternative personal representative (if you wish to have an alternate). In the State of Florida, a personal representative must be over the age of 18, have no felony convictions, be of mental and capable mind to serve, and be a resident of Florida. A non-resident of Florida can be named as a personal representative as long as the person is a family member of the person creating the will. The attorney will need the name, address and phone number of the people you chose as the personal representatives.

Do I want to make any specific bequests?

Do you have some personal property that you know a certain friend or family member would love? The nephew who you play golf with and you know would love your clubs — or the daughter who you want to have grandma’s wedding rings to carry through the generations. As stated before, estate planning at Jennifer L. Hamey, PA is designed to be custom tailored for your individual needs, so think about personal property that you would like to gift to that certain someone. If you do have these wishes, then be sure to let the attorney know what the item(s) is/are (try to be as specific as possible) and the name, address and relationship of the person to get the property.

Beginning to think about these points prior to the appointment will help the lawyer better direct you as to your options for estate planning and will assist in expediting the process in getting your documents prepared and executed. It will also allow the attorney to get a better idea of what your particular needs and wishes are and answer your questions more thoroughly at your first consultation.

Ellenton, Florida estate planning attorney Jennifer L. Hamey has over 15 years of experience in estate planning preparation and consultation. Please contact us for a FREE CONSULTATION in which Jennifer L. Hamey will spend the time to look at all of your assets, liabilities and individual life needs to determine what estate planning options are right for you.