You do not need to bring anything. To prepare for your meeting, simply give some thought to who you trust to handle important duties such as wrapping up your estate, making health care decisions for you, and (if applicable) who will serve as guardians for minor children.
If you have current documents in place, such as a previous plan or health care power done at the hospital, bring copies to your meeting.
A complete essential estate plan includes wills, powers of attorney for finances (called durable powers of attorney) and health care powers of attorney. A revocable trust plan includes those documents plus a revocable trust document and several additional related documents.
Usually, it takes only two meetings to complete a plan. During the initial meeting, we talk about your goals and sketch out a draft plan. We then provide documents for review within a week. We then make any needed changes, and set up a second meeting to review and sign the documents.
In our experience, most plans are completed with just those two meetings. Generally, plans are completed within 30-60 days of the initial meeting, although they can be completed much faster than that if need be.
No. No one is required to have a revocable trust. Revocable trusts can be an excellent option in some cases, and a poor option in others. See our revocable trusts page for more information about revocable trusts.
Yes. Probate is a court-supervised process for wrapping up a person's affairs if they have a will (or if they have no will). Probate can be avoided by creating a properly funded revocable trust. See our revocable trusts page for more information about revocable trusts.
Be careful. Lifetime gifts can have unintended negative consequences if a beneficiary has financial problems, gets divorced, or has to file for bankruptcy. However, giving gifts now can be a good idea in the right situation. Ask whether a lifetime gift is right for you during our initial meeting.
Lauterbach Legal LLC
2417A Post Road, Suite C
Stevens Point, WI 54481