Once you have selected an attorney, decide what you want your estate plan to achieve before scheduling a second, longer meeting. Determine:
- Do you want to make sure that your spouse/partner is financially secure?
- What do you want to happen to the property you have accumulated?
- Who will care for your minor children or aging parents?
- Do you want your spouse and children to be provided for in an equitable manner?
- Who will settle your estate in a timely and fair way?
- If you own a business, do you want one or more family members to inherit and manage it?
- Do you want to keep estate taxes, probate fees, and other administrative and legal costs to a minimum?
Organize and prepare important lists and inventories. You will need many of these papers to complete your estate plan. See the lesson Organize Your Important Papers for forms that you will find useful.
III. Power of Attorney: Planning for Incapacity
IV. Property Transfer: Documents and Legal Arrangements
VII. Personal Representative: To Carry Out Your Wishes
VIII. Gifting and Tax Strategies
X. How to Hire and Work with an Attorney
- a. Attorney Ratings
- b. Interviewing Prospective Attorney Candidates
- c. Deciding What to Include in Your Estate Plan
- d. Preparing a Checklist for Meeting with an Attorney
Prepare Your Estate Plan belongs to a series called Legally Secure Your Financial Future. The series also includes information to help you organize important household papers and to communicate your health-care wishes.