Estate Planning Lawyer
Estate planning is not a subject many people want to think about, but it’s not something you should put off. You want your family members to receive their inheritances without hassle after you’re gone. Your first step is to schedule a meeting with a qualified estate planning lawyer. During your first consultation, expect your lawyer to ask you several questions.
Here are some questions your estate planning lawyer may ask.
What Is Your Financial Situation?
When speaking with an estate planning lawyer, expect to discuss your finances. States have estate and gift tax laws for assets that are over certain amounts, so inform your lawyer of all your assets and debts. For example, your lawyer may want to know if your home is still mortgaged, whether or not you have credit card debt and if you owe money to the IRS.
Who Are the Most Important People in Your Life?
After you are gone, you want your property to go to the right people. That is why your estate planning lawyer will want to know about the most important people in your life. He or she will want to know if you are married and whether or not you have children. Spouses are typically financially protected, while children usually are not. Tell your lawyer about other relatives you may wish to put in your will, such as sisters, brothers or cousins. You may also want to inform your lawyer about anyone you want to leave out of your will.
What Property Do You Want to Give Away?
After you take out what your spouse is entitled to, you need to determine what property you want to give away and who you want to have it. For instance, you may want to give family heirlooms to one of your nieces or artwork to a cousin.
Do You Have a Retirement Plan?
During your consultation, your estate planning lawyer will also want to know about your retirement fund. If you have a retirement fund, it will go to a beneficiary rather than into your estate. However, if you do not list a beneficiary, the funds will go into your estate plan and go through the probate process.