Organization is Key When Meeting With Your Estate Planning Attorney

You’re officially ready to get your Estate Plan in order. This is a huge commitment, and we’re happy to know you and your family are ready to find the peace of mind that comes with an effective Estate Plan. Ensuring your family is protected is paramount.

Now that you’ve scheduled the first appointment with Charleston Estate Planning Law Firm, you might be thinking “What’s the next step?”

Some clients come to us with little preparation or organization, and that’s okay! We just want to caution you that a lack of organization means paying more for an inefficient beginning to your Estate Planning journey. Coming to your first meeting with Charleston Estate Planning Law Firm, however, means you make efficient and cost-effective use of your time.

Three Things to Do Before You Meet With Your Estate Planning Attorney

Taking the time to sort through the relevant paperwork and getting your thoughts in order will go a long way to making the meeting productive and valuable.  Otherwise, the meeting will become a fishing expedition for your attorney and both tedious and confusing for you.

  1. Make a complete list of your assets and liabilities

Create a list, as thorough as you reasonably can, of everything you own (e.g., bank accounts, investment accounts, real estate, retirement accounts, and life insurance). Note that this doesn’t have to include a full list of your personal property and items you own throughout your home and business.

Make a note of how you own it (e.g., in your sole name or in joint names with your spouse or someone else such as a child or sibling). Indicate whether you have already designated a beneficiary for the account or policy or not. Record how much you owe on accounts and debts (e.g., mortgages, car loans, and credit cards).

  1. Think about who you want to inherit your estate, when they’ll inherit it, and how they’ll inherit it

There are many ways to pass your property to beneficiaries, including outright, in stages (such as after college or after getting married), at specific ages, or in lifetime discretionary trusts. These are considerations to make as you go through the process, but your Estate Planning attorney will also have insights into how to approach these important decisions. At the very least, think about each beneficiary’s current needs and what they may need in the future.

  1. Think about who you want to be in charge of your Estate if you become incapacitated or die

Along with naming Guardians for your minor children, deciding who will serve as your fiduciaries (including the Executor of your Will, Successor Trustee of your Trust, Attorney in Fact of your Power of Attorney, and Health Care Agent in your Medical Directive) is, by far, the most important decision you will need to make.  

Why? If you choose the wrong person for the role, or if someone you choose declines to serve or can’t serve, the Estate Plan that you have so carefully put together will come to a grinding halt.

This is why it’s imperative to have a reliable, experienced Estate Planning attorney by your side through the process. At Charleston Estate Planning Law Firm, we pride ourselves on providing consistent, reliable advice for the people of South Carolina when it comes to taking care of their Estate Plan and their families. Contact our office when you’re ready for sound Estate Planning and peace of mind.

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Charleston Estate Planning Law Firm

At the Charleston Estate Planning Law Firm, we believe that estate planning is all about protecting your family and loved ones in the event of your incapacity or death.

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