Meeting With An Estate Planning Lawyer
Planning for the future is an important part of providing for your children and loved ones. Having a Will is an important consideration, but there are other options that may be important to help those who may have to make decisions on your behalf.
Meeting with an estate planning lawyer is the first step in determining the options. Some people may assume that only those with large holdings of property, assets, and cash need to work with an attorney. This is simply not true as anyone can benefit from reviewing their options and choosing the type of Will, Trust, Living will or other documents that are needed.
Initial Meeting for a Will
The first meeting with an estate planning lawyer will be an information gathering meeting for the attorney. It is a good idea to make a list of your assets and who you wish to leave the various assets to. In cases where there are young children, the attorney may recommend some type of a Minor’s Trust that will protect the estate until the children are old enough to manage the money and make decisions. There are other specific types of Trusts to consider as well to protect your assets.
For those with substantial wealth and holdings, an estate planning lawyer can also assist in planning for the distribution of your estate in a way that imposes the lowest tax burden on those inheriting. He or she may also recommend specific steps that can be taken to put the estate in order if it is particularly complex.
Other Options to Consider
In addition to a Will, many people also have a Living Will. While a Will distributes your estate upon your death according to your wishes, a Living Will details how you wish to be cared for if you are unable to make decisions on your own due to injury or illness.
A Power of Attorney provides a named person with authority to make financial decisions on your behalf if you are not able. It is also possible to designate a Health Care Surrogate who will make medical decisions if you cannot.
Ask the attorney to provide options for your consideration. He or she will then draft the documents and, when you return, they can be signed and notarized.