A will is the best way to guarantee that your estate will be handled in the way you wish when you are arranging to get your affairs in order, especially if you own important assets or have children. If you're preparing for your first meeting with your estate lawyer, there are ways to make the process as simple and hassle-free as possible. Here are some of them.
Meeting your estate lawyer
For your first meeting with an estate lawyer, you should be prepared to provide certain documents and information. This information will help your lawyer to develop an estate plan that meets your current situation and preferences.
Your estate lawyer may ask the following basic personal details from you:
- Full name
- Date of birth
- Your executor/s
Other information that may be asked from you:
Your family information
This includes the name/s:
- Your spouse
- Your children/stepchildren
- Nieces, nephews, cousins
Your non-retirement assets
This includes your bank accounts and investments. Make sure to bring bank and investments account statements for documentation.
Your estate lawyer will also want to know your life insurance details. This includes the type of policy you have, the ownership, and beneficiary information.
Everything you owe falls under liabilities. Think mortgages, credit card, and personal loans.
Real estate information
If you own any real estate, let your estate lawyer know. Be prepared to provide information about property address/es, business structure, market value, rental properties, vacation homes, or investment properties.
Your powers of attorney
The person you name as your powers of attorney will be responsible for handling your finances or medical needs, if you're not able to. Your estate lawyer will need their full name, address, and phone numbers. Think of another person as an alternative backup if your first choice is unavailable to assume the role.
Your specific bequests
Do you have personal property that you would like to give away to a family member you love? Let your estate lawyer know. Remember, estate planning is designed to be customised for your personal needs and goals. Just be specific as possible about the name, address, and relationship of the person to get the property.
Thinking about these things before your appointment will help your estate lawyer present the best options for estate planning and make the process quicker. It will also give your lawyer an idea of your individual needs and wishes and address any questions or concerns you may have.
Marino Lawyers has extensive experience in estate planning. We have assisted many families, among them third and fourth generation farming families where the firm has worked closely with financial advisors to attend to every detail. We have offices in Cairns, Port Douglas, Edmonton, Gordonvale, and Babinda. For more information, please contact us at (07) 4081 6700.