Most people who come to my office do not have an estate plan. They have never been through the process. This is all new to them and they can be reserved at the first meeting. Unsure of what we need to discuss, they look for some guidance and information about what we will talk about. They are not overly forthcoming by nature. It can take some time to get comfortable and dive into what we need to discuss.
Some attorneys prefer to use a checklist for their clients. I prefer to have a more free-flowing meeting. I think it encourages an open discussion and can bring out issues that the client may not have thought of.
Information to Bring
Some examples of information to bring with you to a first meeting:
- Contact information
- Your Date of Birth and Marital Status
- A list of your children (if you have them)
- A list of your family members and their children (including anyone who has died)
- Information about your assets
- Information about your liabilities
- Ideas as to who you would like to inherit your assets
Documents to Bring
Some examples of documents you should bring:
- Prior estate plan documents
- Bank account statements
- Deeds for real estate
- Documents about debts you owe
What Will We Discuss?
In addition to reviewing the information you bring, we will discuss the process of putting together an estate plan. There may be logistical issues to deal with in order to have a proper signing ceremony for your documents. We will also discuss fees and other documents that you may need to sign with my office. And, of course, there could be other individualized information or strategies that we need to talk about.