The Leading Trust and Estate Litigation Firm in Michigan

Preparing to Meet with Your Estate Planning Attorney

As you get ready for your first meeting with an estate planning lawyer, you should plan to bring certain documents and information with you. This information will help your attorney develop an estate plan suitable to your specific situation and goals. This list is only meant to be a guide, and there may be additional information your attorney will request.

Financial Information (including account names, numbers, balances and current statements)

  • Bank accounts
  • Investment accounts (annuities, mutual funds)
  • Stocks
  • Bonds
  • U.S. Treasury notes

Retirement Savings Information (including balances, beneficiaries, outstanding loans and current statements)

  • 401(k) accounts
  • 403(b) accounts
  • IRAs
  • Life insurance policies
  • Social Security statement
  • Pension

Property Information (including property description, address, ownership interest, market value, outstanding mortgage balance and most recent tax assessment)

  • Primary residence
  • Rental properties
  • Vacation homes
  • Business property
  • Personal property of value (antiques, collectibles, automobiles, jewelry, art)
  • Inheritance (current or anticipated)
  • Interest in trust (current or future)

Business Information (including interest in the business, location)

  • Closely-held business
  • Family business
  • Limited partnership

Family Information (including names, ages, addresses)

  • Spouse
  • Ex-spouse
  • Children
  • Stepchildren
  • Grandchildren

Other things to consider

  • Who would you like to receive your property?
  • Is there anyone you would not want to receive your property?
  • Do you want to leave anything to a charity, university, church or other organization?
  • Who would you like to serve as executor of your will?
  • Who would you like to serve as trustee over any trusts?
  • Would you like to appoint a guardian to care for any minor children?
  • Do you want to create a living will and a durable health care power of attorney?
  • Do you want to assign other powers of attorney, such as for your finances?
  • Do you want to leave instructions for your funeral arrangements?
  • Do you want to donate your organs or donate your body to science?
  • Who would you like to serve as alternate executor, trustee, guardian or power of attorney if your first choice is unavailable or unable to fulfill the duties?

Finally, consider your overall goals and desires for your estate plan. This will help guide your estate planning attorney in developing a comprehensive plan tailored to meet your individual needs.

Copyright © 2014 FindLaw, a Thomson Reuters business

DISCLAIMER: This site and any information contained herein are intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter.

Return to Main

Estate Planning Law Blog

Blog

Common estate planning misconceptions

Putting together an estate plan is not the hardest thing to do in the world, but it isn’t necessarily the simplest thing to do either. Common misconceptions about estate planning certainly don’t make the process any easier. So, let’s clear up some well-known myths...

Reviewing estate planning goals after entering a second marriage

It might not be uncommon to experience a variety of changes throughout life, and each of these changes could alter your goals and preferences for the future. Upon entering a second marriage, there are numerous topics to consider as you prepare to align your plans with...

Getting POAs set up for your college student

Helping a child prepare for college is a pretty involved process. There are a lot of things to think about and plan for. One thing many parents in Michigan may not think to do is set up powers of attorney for their college-aged kids. POAs serve a valuable purpose, and...

Entering retirement? It’s time to look at your estate plan

As you saw the economy take a downturn and people become frustrated when trying to find work, you decided that it was time to retire. You could leave your position and have it open up for someone else, all without it negatively affecting you.  Now that you’ve made the...

Could you benefit from a long-term care insurance policy?

When it comes to modern medical care, long-term care is one of the most expensive needs that a person could have. Long-term care may necessitate residency in a nursing home, which may cost thousands of dollars a month. Long-term care could also mean having skilled...