Thursday, May 26, 2011

Chicago Estate Planing | Meeting Your Attorney For The First Time

So after much thought and deliberation, you have decided you need an estate plan. You already know, from my previous post, not to ask "What does a Will Cost?"  The question is, what should you ask and what should you bring into your first meeting? If you have a good attorney, he or she should have already sent you some information. The information may consist of a letter, a questioner, and/ or a financial assessment. I personally send all three to a client before I meet the client for the first time. The letter that I send to a client helps the client know what to expect of the estate planning process. The questioner helps the client get into the frame of mind that is necessary to know who are potential people for testamentary gifts. It also helps the client know what property they have and know about, and what property they have and might have forgotten. It also helps a client understand that the title of property (i.e. the way your deed is titled) is important for estate planning purposes.

 So now you have the proper documentation for your first meeting with your attorney. What else should you have. I have found that the most satisfied clients bring with a small notebook and a pen and ask questions that they have prepared before the meeting and take down my answers. After the meeting with me, they look over their notes and the information I have told them can sink in. By having questions in advance, you can wait until I explain the process to you, and when my explanation is done you can ask any questions that I may have not addressed. Without those preset questions, you may be overwhelmed with other parts of the Estate Planning process and forget to ask some of the questions you wanted to know. Additionally, I usually cover some part of the Estate Planning process that my client never heard of before. By coming prepared with questions and have a notebook to jot down new concepts, you will feel better about your initial consultation and have a more pleasant estate planning process. I would love to hear from you about your estate planning needs in the comments below. If you need an estate plan, contact my office, The Law Office of Jonathan W. Cole, or learn more about Estate Planning on my offices estate planning page. Good luck with your estate plan.

 Jonathan W. Cole

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