Being organized makes life easier, while setting your financial life in order will help you become more efficient when dealing with day-to-day tasks like paying bills. It will also put you in a perfect position to take care of your estate planning, once and for all.
A major challenge that people face when creating an estate plan is locating all of the information they need. Having all of your important documents, titles, list of assets, etc. pulled together and organized in advance of your first meeting with an estate planning lawyer in Encino will allow you to feel confident in what you’re doing, as well as minimize the time spent on the task at hand. Both you and your lawyer will benefit from clear and concise communication. If anything is missing, it will be considerably easier to discover and remedy the situation up front. An Encino trust and estate lawyer would advise you to gather information about the following in preparation for your meeting:
- Bank accounts
- Investment accounts
- Stocks and bonds
- Life insurance and Annuity policies
- Deeds for properties you own
- Retirement plans
- Business partnerships or LLC interests
- Money owed to you
- Personal effects
- Loans and credit
It is also helpful to determine in advance who you want to inherit your estate and the circumstances by which you want your assets passed to loved ones (delayed until your kids reach age 25, given out to heirs at certain life milestones, etc.). While an estate planning lawyer can help you determine candidates, this is a very personal choice. It also makes sense to determine who you would like to assign roles in managing your estate. Here are a few things to consider:
- Who will you name as guardian for minor children?
- Who do you trust to serve as the executor or trustee of your estate?
- Who will be your medical power of attorney and have the right to speak for you in a medical emergency?
The good news is that getting your financial life organized is probably easier than you think. Most accounts today are online, and you’ll likely only need to log on to get the information and documents that you need. At the end of the process, you’ll not only be ready to have a fruitful conversation with your estate planning attorney, but you’ll have a much clearer picture of what you own and what you owe.
Your attorney will help you track down any information that you may be missing. Getting started is the most important thing; you can fill in a lot of the blanks as you go. We encourage you to take the next step by scheduling your consultation, which can be done by contacting our Los Angeles county estate planning attorneys at (818) 905-6088.