What to Expect During an Estate Planning Consultation

Every estate plan we do starts with a free consultation. We get a lot done during those meetings, but they really (honestly) don’t require much preparation. Here’s what happens.

First, we cover the basics of what an estate plan does, and how the process works. Next is a chance to get to know a little bit about you. We want to understand your family structure—how many kids and what are their ages, and same for any grandkids. For people without kids, we want to understand who your nearest relatives are. We also want to understand asset structure. We don’t need to know too many details—just a general idea of net worth and how it is structured.

Next we start on a rough draft of the plan. The first item of business is talking about distribution scheme—where you want assets to go at your death. That can be as simple as kids in equal shares, or for some others it can include other people or charities. There are no right answers, but we do have some common solutions that we are happy to offer.

Second is to talk about who you trust to handle some important roles. The first is your estate administrator—the person in charge of settling your affairs after your death. The next (which you may or may not need depending on your plan) is someone to manage assets for anyone who can’t manage them for themselves, such as a minor child or person with special needs. Third is (if you have minor children) a person to serve as guardian for the children. Fourth is power of attorney for finances—the person who would manage your financial affairs during your lifetime if you are unable to do so. The final role is health care power—someone to handle health care decisions for you if you can’t make decisions for yourself. For each of these roles, we work through what the job entails and who would be the best fit.

The last part is how to implement the plan. This gets into the tools we use to transfer property at death, which are wills, trusts, and beneficiary designations. Once we understand your plan, we talk about how which tool or tools are the best fit for you.

If we’re able to get through a rough draft in our first meeting (we do more often than you might think) we give a quote, and if the quote works, we move forward with drafts. And that’s it for the first meeting.

Ready to get started? Call our office to schedule. We will look forward to meeting with you.