Estate planning is about ensuring that your wishes are upheld, and your assets are handled in the case of your death or incapacity. Getting started with this planning, however, might seem daunting. Consulting with an expert estate planning lawyer can help to ease your fears, but how can you plan for that important first meeting?
This post provides four tips for preparing for your first meeting with a Los Angeles area estate planning lawyer.
4 Tips to Prepare for Your First Meeting with an Estate Planning Lawyer
Whether you’re just beginning the process of creating an estate plan or are looking to update an existing one, it’s always helpful to be prepared. Here’s how:
1. List Goals. Make a list of any estate planning goals that you have. This could include things like passing on assets to your loved ones, making sure your children will be provided for, or ensuring that your pets are taken care of in case something happens to you. You might also want to consider who will administer your estate and make medical decisions on your behalf.
If multiple goals are important, it may help to rank them by priority and how quickly they need to be addressed.
2. Collect Documents. Gather all documents related to your situation and planning goals before the meeting. These may include:
- Life insurance policies
- Beneficiary designations
- Pension and retirement paperwork
- Bank statements
- Property deeds and titles
- Guardianship designations
- Power of attorney documentation
3. Prepare Your Questions. List questions you may have about the process. Some questions may include:
- How long have you been practicing law?
- How many estate plans have you drafted?
- How many probate cases have you handled?
- What do your clients say about working with you?
- How long is the estate planning process?
You can also jot down any questions specific to your situation, so they’re addressed during the meeting.
4. Communicate with Family. Speaking with your family about your wishes when preparing for your first meeting with an estate planning attorney is a good idea. It’s an opportunity for you to hear their thoughts and feelings so you may address these during the meeting. You can also find out if any heirlooms mean a lot to certain individuals and include these desires in the plan.
Contact an Estate Planning Lawyer in the Los Angeles Area
With an estate plan, you can gain peace of mind knowing that your assets are managed and that your family will be cared for after you’re no longer here. The Law Offices of Michael K. Lanning, APLC, can assist you with this task. We have over 35 years of expertise assisting families, and we can personalize your estate plan to your individual goals.
Contact us at 310-820-1600 or go to our website to set up a consultation and learn more about how we can help you plan for the future.
We serve West Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Manhattan Beach, and the surrounding Los Angeles communities.