Anytime you meet with an attorney, it is important to be prepared. The more information you can bring with you to your initial consultation, the less time you will probably spend in their office…and, more importantly, the more educated your attorney will be about your wishes. As the old saying goes: “Time is money.” Wills operate after you pass away, trusts operate before, after, or before and after you pass away, and powers of attorney are effective until your death. That said, here are a few things to do before you meet with your attorney as well as what you should bring to your appointment:
Before you meet with your attorney…
- Pick an executor of your will and/or trust. That is the person who will carry out your wishes. It is also a good idea to have a second and third choice for executor.
- Pick a trustee of your trust. Again, it is a good idea to have a second and third option as well as list what to do if no one survives.
- Decide how you would like your property to be divided or managed
- Pick who will be Power of Attorney if you become incapacitated.
- Pick who you want to make medical decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated.
Items to bring to your appointment with your attorney…
- Copies of financial statements that show what you own; who is on the title to any vehicles; and the approximate values of the real and personal property you own.
- Copies of deeds and property tax bills for any real estate that you own.
- Proof of ownership for all your other assets.