Whether you’re a newlywed or a retiree, you should have an estate plan. An estate plan is more than a will alone. An estate plan consists of multiple documents underlining the “whos,” “whats,” and “hows” of the management of your finances, assets and family matters in case of your absence.
As opposed to the average firm that may ask their clients to come prepared with countless document copies and no tough questions, our team offers guidance through every step of the process. In preparation for your first estate planning session, we came up with a brief list on how you can prepare to meet with us.
Write Down Your Questions
Before the initial meeting, we suggest that clients write down any questions they may have for us. We encourage our clients to think of us as a resource. We want you to be comfortable asking us anything (especially how you can avoid probate and taxes!). As your estate planning lawyer, it’s essential for us to build a rapport, forming a deep understanding of what you need and the best way to handle your affairs.
While we can provide estate planning services far and wide thanks to modern technology, we still want you to be well-equipped if you’re interviewing a different estate planning attorney. There is a set of professional qualifications that are essential given the sensitive information and intricacy involved in executing estate planning strategies.
Below are a few examples of questions to ask your attorney:
- How many years of experience do you have with Massachusetts state law?
- What is your level of experience with trusts and estates?
- Can you help update or revise my current estate plan?
- Is my first consultation free?
- What is your pricing structure?
Visualize Your Family’s Future
Second, we’d like our clients to think about the future. What assets do you have and want to leave behind for your loved ones? What should become of your children and household after your passing? Who in your family is qualified to make financial decisions and medical decisions if you’re incapacitated?
With a comprehensive estate plan, these matters are addressed adequately. You’ll receive the proper guidance on specific choices and how to handle your requests, including care for children, a particular property, and choosing your power of attorney. Clients aren’t required to have all of the answers to these questions, but they are helpful to consider beforehand.
Consider End-of-Life Issues
Last, but not least, we strongly suggest that you think about your funeral and burial wishes. These may be sensitive topics to consider, but it is highly recommended to include your final preferences in a comprehensive estate plan. Including funeral arrangements in your will ensures your requests are honored and legally bound. It will also reduce the potential for family disagreements at an emotionally difficult time.
Clients may not come fully prepared for their first estate planning session, and that is okay. Our attorneys at SLN Law understand. We work with you to gather all paperwork and documentation needed as we walk through the process together. We also offer your first consultation free of charge. Estate planning doesn’t have to be overwhelming, not with our help!