Estate planning is a specialized field requiring the knowledge and skill of a professional. As such, one of the most important steps you can take in the estate planning process is choosing the right estate planning attorney. When choosing an attorney, it is imperative that you do your research. Credentials, testimonials/reviews, and personal recommendations are all important. Amy B. Van Fossen, P.A., has excellent ratings in all of the above categories, and we would be happy to assist you in your estate planning needs.
Here are Three Ways to Prepare for Your Estate Planning Consultation:
Itemize Your Assets
You must know what you have in order to protect it. Take an inventory of your assets and compile a list. Make sure to include identifying information for the assets, such as account numbers, policy numbers, etc. Items you should think about include:
- Your home and its valuable contents (e.g., antiques, electronic equipment, collections of art, jewelry, etc.)
- Your vehicles and boats
- Financial Assets – IRA, 401K, bank and brokerage accounts, annuities, insurance policies, stocks, and bonds. Sometimes, once people start digging, they come across an account or asset they had forgotten about.
Although not an asset, it is important to itemize your debts as well. Items you should think about include:
- Lines of credit
- Credit card debt
- Auto and other loans
Itemize a List of Organizations to Which You Belong
Think about the groups in which you belong or are interested in belonging. Some examples include VA, charitable organizations, religious groups, professional associations, college alumni groups, and political groups. These groups may offer services that you are aware of or may be organizations in which you want to include in your estate plan as a beneficiary.
Think About Who You Want To Be Your Beneficiaries and Executor
Who do you want to inherit your estate when you pass away? Is it an individual or a charity? If a person, who would be the back-up beneficiary if the primary person predeceased you? Do you have accounts that already have designated beneficiaries or POD/TOD?
You will also want to think about who your Successor Trustee/Executor will be. Will you include a back-up if the first person listed predeceases you? Additionally, who would be the appropriate person to designate as your health care surrogate and/or durable power of attorney agent? Who do you want to make medical and financial decisions for you if you become incapacitated? You will want to consider reliability, trustworthiness, and dependability when deciding on the person to nominate for these positions.
Our team can help prepare the necessary estate planning documents to meet all of your needs, including but not limited to the desire to avoid probate, incapacitation planning, contingent trust planning for young children, and special needs planning for yourself and loved ones.
It is important to start thinking about this now. The earlier you start thinking about these topics, the less overwhelming it will be when it is time to make decisions. When the time comes to schedule your estate planning session, contact The Law Offices of Amy B Van Fossen, P.A in Brevard County, FL. We are here to help guide you through the process, step by step. It is not your job to think about all the “what-ifs” – let us do that for you. We pride ourselves on being well-trained, detail-oriented, and comforting during the estate planning process, and our goal is to make sure you and your family are cared for and satisfied.