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What information should I discuss with my estate planning attorney?

By now, readers of this blog likely understand the valuable role that an estate planning attorney can play in helping you discover and achieve your estate planning goals. Still, the thought of actually sitting down with an attorney and discussing some of the most private details of your life can be daunting. To help prepare for and make the most of a first meeting with your attorney, it’s wise to do some prep work.

In order to gain a better understanding of your current and future estate planning priorities, an attorney will want to know details about your family, financial standing and plans for the future. Therefore, you should be prepared to answer detailed and somewhat intimate questions related to your marital status, children, finances and assets. When discussing matters related to a living will and long-term care, an attorney will also likely ask questions about how you want to live out your golden years and what types of medical interventions you agree and disagree with.

Additionally, if planning to leave an inheritance, you should be prepared to talk openly and honestly about your children, your plans for distributing assets and any questions or concerns you have related thereto. For example, if you have a child that is currently struggling with substance abuse problems, an attorney may suggest using an incentive trust to shield assets and incent a child to enter rehab and stay clean.

A comprehensive estate plan must account for all areas of life. It’s crucial; therefore, that you trust your estate attorney and feel comfortable discussing issues that you may not have even shared with your spouse or children.

Source:, “Prepare to Meet with Estate Planning Lawyer,” Jan. 20, 2016

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