The AARP estimates that about 60% of Americans don’t have a will or any type of estate planning. It’s difficult to think about your mortality, which is one reason that people don’t plan for their death. Some people believe that they are too young to think about a will. Death can occur at any moment. Estate planning is more for your loved ones. Having a will, a healthcare directive and power of attorney help your family out if you become incapacitated.
If you’re ready to work with an attorney on estate planning, you should make an appointment with an estate planning lawyer. To maximize your time with your lawyer, gather these documents before your appointment.
Information on Beneficiaries
Your attorney will need your beneficiaries’ full name, address and social security number. You might want to bring birth certificates for your minor children. These documents ensure that the attorney doesn’t make a mistake while naming your heirs.
Information on Your Assets
Your estate consists of your assets and debts. Bring copies of your deed and mortgage, vehicle titles and bank statements. If you have expensive jewelry or other valuable property, you should consider bringing an appraiser’s statement and pictures of the item. This can help you if you’re planning on leaving specific items to specific beneficiaries.
Your estate also includes debts. To help your beneficiaries deal with your major debts, you should bring information about your car loans, student loans and consumer credit cards. Having this information together as you plan your estate can help you get a bigger picture of your finances. You can have a better plan to pay down your debts to leave a larger inheritance to your kids.
Information on Your Executor
As part of your estate planning, you’ll probably name a person to manage your estate on your death, called an executor. You should have their contact information for your attorney when you come to your appointment. It’s a good idea to ask that person if they’re up to the responsibility before naming them. It can get expensive to handle your estate if they don’t live locally. There may be health issues that preclude them from focusing on the estate.
If you have minor children, bring the contact information on who you want named as guardian on your death.
Plan for Your Future
Planning for death isn’t easy, but it does greatly benefit your beneficiaries. Your estate planning law firm in St. Peters, MO can help you make the most of your estate through your estate plan.
Thanks to Sweeney Legal, LLC for their insight into estate planning and what documents are needed to prepare a will.