New Clients – Estate Planning
Preparing for the Consultation
If you have made an appointment, you will receive an Estate Planning Worksheet prior to the initial consultation. This Estate Planning Worksheet is a short questionnaire designed to help focus your thoughts on the planning process.
There is no need at this point to go on a “treasure hunt” to locate stock certificates or insurance policies. Sometimes the thought of having to locate all these original documents actually leads clients to procrastinate the planning process. As long as you have an idea of the approximate values, that will be sufficient for the initial consultation.
Before our meeting, I do ask you to spend some time thinking about three things – the Three P’s of Estate Planning
Who are the Important People in your life? Beginning with yourself, these people may include your family: your spouse, significant other, children, or grandchildren. Perhaps your parents, siblings, or dear friends. “Important People” could also include charities or even pets.
Spend some time thinking about these “Important People.” Make a list and bring it to our consultation. This is where the planning process truly begins.
What assets do you control? The Estate Planning Worksheet has a section in which you are asked to list your assets. Exact dollar values are not necessary, but it is important for our consultation that we identify the types and ownership of assets. Think through your assets in terms of their nature: cash, stocks, real estate, retirement plans. Do you own these assets jointly or individually? Do some of these assets have beneficiaries listed? Do you anticipate receiving any inheritance?
What would you want to have happen if . . . ? You were unable to manage your affairs? Who would you want to make decisions for you? You have already identified the Important People in your life, would you choose one of these people to make your financial, legal, or health care decisions for you? Is there a person you think would be able to follow the direction for distribution in a Will or Trust? Is there someone in the group of Important People with Special Needs? Someone who perhaps should not receive a large sum of money without some oversight?