“The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining.” John F. Kennedy
While few, if any of us, like to think about our estate planning, creating a plan will avoid much heartache and indecision later. Below is a checklist of items to prepare in advance of meeting with an estate planning attorney. Working through the list will help you gather your thoughts and be ready for a productive meeting.
McDowell Posternock Apell & Detrick’s Estate Planning Consultation Checklist
1. List of all current assets owned by each spouse, including current bank balances, investment account balances, life insurance, IRAs, 401ks, pensions, real estate, and business interests.
2. Who will be the beneficiaries of your estate? If one of the beneficiaries dies, who would receive his/her bequest instead?
3. If any of your intended beneficiaries are children, do you want to set up a trust for that child? If so, who would serve as Trustee of this trust? Who would be a back up Trustee if that person was unable to serve?
4. If you have minor children, who will serve as Guardian for the children if you die? Who would serve as a back up Guardian if your first choice was unable to serve?
5. Who would serve as Executor of your estate? Who would be a back up Executor if that person was unable to serve?
6. Do you have any charitable gifts to make?
7. Do you have any specific items you want to go to specific people?
8. Who do you want to serve as your medical representative if you are unable to make your own medical decisions? Who would serve if your first choice was unable to serve?
9. Who do you want to serve as your attorney in fact if you are unable to make financial decisions? Who would serve if your first choice was unable to serve?