ASK THE LAWYER By Daniel A. Gwinn, Esq. Attorney and Counselor at Law
QUESTION: I am meeting with my attorney for estate planning. What do I need to bring with me? Should I have an estate plan?
ANSWER: Congratulations, you are taking the first steps to putting your house in order. Everyone should have an estate plan. An estate plan protects the assets you worked hard to accumulate and directs where those assets are directed in the event of your death or disability. At a minimum, you should bring the following documents/information with you to your meeting:
- Personal records – This may include records regarding birth, marriage, divorce, adoption, naturalization, immigration, and military discharge as appropriate.
- Financial records – This may include tax returns and supporting documents, investment statements, real estate documents including deeds, mortgages, and liens, and bank statements.
- Prior estate planning documents – Including any prior wills or trusts.
- Prior powers of attorney
- Prior health care powers of attorney and authorizations
- Insurance information – including information regarding life insurance and any disability insurance.
- Retirement benefits – This would include Social Security, Veteran’s Benefits, Medicare, or private pensions.
Another good rule of thumb is to bring along documents you’ve already gathered to prepare your federal and state income tax returns.
The lawyers are GWINN TAURIAINEN PLLC are experienced estate planning attorneys and are happy to answer your questions. Give us a call for a free initial telephone consultation about estate planning or your other legal needs. For consideration of your questions, in our web column, please submit your inquiry on the “Contact Us” page of our website at www.gwinntauriainenlaw.com.