How To Plan An Estate
Estate Planning Five Step Action Plan:
1. Think about who you want to receive your assets after you die and when are they to receive them; who do you want to manage your financial affairs when you can no longer manage them yourself, and who do you want to make medical decisions for you when you cannot make them for yourself.
2. For the purpose of assessing what your approximately gross probate estate value is and to determine what your current net worth is, you should prepare an inventory of all of your assets of significant value including life insurance policies, along with a brief listing of your major debts. This will also provide a snapshot of what your current asset mix is comprised of so that if your estate is large enough to require payment of estate taxes after you die, we can start planning now to reduce or eliminate them.
3. Call me for an appointment…a professional you will be comfortable sharing this private information with, someone who will answer your questions and be there when you need him to be. Unlike most other attorneys, I do not charge for phone calls or emails for estate planning clients while during their planning or in the future when they have ongoing trust management questions. I do this because I do not want my clients making unnecessary mistakes because they didn’t want to call an attorney and get billed for a simple question during a short telephone consultation or an easily answerable email.
4. Have me then prepare your legal documents and send them to you for your review. I will then personally review them with you and answer all of your questions. Once you are completely satisfied with your documents, we will then meet to sign your documents and have them notarized and/or witnessed in accordance with state law requirements.
5. We will then review the current title status of your assets and any beneficiary designations previously made, and then work together to properly fund your trust via title transfers and modification of beneficiary designations with the result being a detailed, coordinated, and integrated estate plan.