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A Checklist for Your First Meeting With an Arizona Estate Planning Attorney

You’ve decided to write a will and to take other steps to provide for future management and distribution of your assets. You also want to plan for your long-term health care, including the possibility of becoming permanently incapacitated. All of this is can be part of the discussion during your first consultation with the Arizona estate planning attorney that you entrust with advising you. As with any business meeting, it helps to come prepared.

Here are some things you should be ready to discuss at your initial estate planning consultation:

  • Your family situation — This includes your spouse or partner, children, grandchildren and any other loved ones. You should relate any special needs that any family members may have.
  • Your assets and liabilities — This includes your real estate, bank accounts, investments, retirement savings and valuable personal property. It also includes any debts, such as mortgages, credit card balances and student loans.
  • Your wishes for your assets — Among the questions to consider are, whom do you want to inherit your assets after you die? In what proportions do you want your assets to be distributed? Are there specific gifts that you want to make to certain individuals or charities?
  • Your healthcare wishes — You should be prepared to discuss what kind of medical care you want to receive if you become incapacitated. Do you want to be kept alive on artificial life support? Who do you want to appoint as a healthcare decision maker?

You can make the first meeting more productive by bringing along the following information and documents:

  • Property and financial records — Bring records related to your most significant assets, including real estate, life insurance policies and investments.
  • A list of your family members and their locations — This should include people whom you might appoint as your estate’s executor or as a trustee.
  • Records relating to marriages — These include your marriage certificate, any prenuptial or postnuptial agreement and any divorces.
  • Copies of any existing estate planning documents — These include any wills, trusts or powers of attorney already in existence.
  • A list of beneficiaries — Make a list of the beneficiaries you wish to designate in your will or trust.

Your attorney may ask you to supply additional documents as your estate planning goes forward.

Your first meeting with an Arizona estate planning attorney is only a consultation. This means that you do not have to make any decisions about your estate plan then and there. You should take your time to review the information that your attorney provides you with and make decisions that are right for you and your family.

Jeffrey P. Hall, PLLC is an estate planning law firm with offices in Phoenix, Peoria and Chandler. I assist people across Arizona with creating wills, trusts and other essential documents relating to their future. To schedule your free initial consultation, call me at 480-409-5174 or contact me online.