What Information Do I Need to Provide to the Attorney?

There are many pieces of information that should be gathered before you ever meet with your estate planning attorney.  By having this information in one place from the beginning you ensure that your attorney is looking at the full picture and incorporates all of your assets and interests in the plan.  You should have the following information on hand for your first meeting with your attorney:


1.  Family Information.  This includes names, ages, contact information and any details you may think are important for immediate family members and those you may name to carry out roles in your plan.


2.  Lists of Your Assets.  This is any bank accounts, investment accounts, real property (deeds), life insurance, retirement accounts and any other assets you own, both individually or with another person.


3.  Beneficiary Designation Forms.  Life insurance and retirement accounts allow you to designate a beneficiary to receive the assets upon your death.  You probably selected those beneficiaries when you intially set up your account.  You can request these forms from your plan administrator. 


4.  Ideas About What You Wish to Accomplish.  People have different goals of what they wish to accomplish through their estate plan.  For example, some people are interested only in providing for their children, both through naming a guardian and providing for them financially.