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Learn... Plan... Protect Your Estate

Steps to Build Plan
  Step 1 - Organize documents
  Step 2 - Get educated
  Step 3 - Inventory
  Step 4 - Determine goals
  Step 5 - Develop plan
  Step 6 - Review plan
  Step 7 - Take action
  Step 8 - Get help
Estate Plan Items
  Death Will
  Guardianship
  Power of Attorney
  Health Care Directive
  Living Will
  Charitable Giving
  Gifting
  Trusts
  Asset Distribution
  Burial Instructions
  Beneficiaries
  Executor
Basic information for your lawyer

If you are going to meet with a lawyer, write down the following information and bring it to your meeting. If the lawyer sent you a questionnaire, make sure that you fill it out completely. The more work you do, the less the whole process will cost you.

  • Names, address, and relationships of beneficiaries
  • Name, address and telephone number of your prospective executor and/or trustee, and a substitute for each
  • Name, address and telephone number of the guardian for your children, and a substitute
  • Names of beneficiaries or family members that might be dissatisfied with your wishes
  • Amount, source and beneficiaries of financial assets and liabilities, such as retirement plans, insurance policies, bank accounts, stocks and bonds, mortgages, and other loans
  • List of (with approximate values and how titled) valuable property, such as real estate, cars, antiques and jewelry
  • Jointly owned property, including the description and name of co-owners
  • Location of safe-deposit boxes and a list of their contents
  • Specific bequests you would like to make, including the name and address of each person, charity, or institution, and how you want to leave the money or assets
  • Full legal names, birth dates, domicile, marital status and citizenship of you and your spouse, if you have one, and the names, birth dates and addresses of any children.

In addition to the written details of all the items above, gather up any personal documents, such as penuptial agreements, marriage certificates, divorce decrees, recent tax returns, existing wills and trust documents, and deeds. Now you are ready to meet with your lawyer.

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