So, you’ve decided to finally do your estate plan. Good for you!
One of the best things you can do to streamline the planning process is to get your finances organized. This may sound challenging, but it is much easier than you think. Just gathering a few documents will put you in the perfect position to get the most out of your meeting with your Tampa estate planning lawyer. You’ll also have the added benefit of making your day-to-day financial tasks much easier.
Having everything in order in advance of your initial meeting will allow you to feel confident in what you’re doing, as well as minimize the time spent on the task at hand. Both you and your lawyer will benefit from clear and concise communication. If anything is missing, it will be considerably easier to discover and remedy the situation up front.
The best way to get organized is to compile a list of your assets and liabilities. Some of the most common items in this category are:
- Bank accounts
- Investment accounts
- Stocks and bonds
- Life insurance and annuity policies
- Deeds for properties you own
- Retirement plans
- Business partnerships or LLC interests
- Money owed to you
- Personal effects
- Loans and credit
It is also helpful to determine in advance who will inherit your estate. While an estate planning lawyer can help you determine candidates, this is a very personal choice. It also makes sense to determine who you would like to assign roles in managing your estate. Here are a few things to consider:
- Who will you name as guardian for minor children?
- Who do you want to serve as the executor of your estate?
- Who will have your medical power of attorney?
The good news is that getting your financial life organized is probably easier than you think. Most of your account information is online and you’ll need only to log in to get the documents you need. At the end of the process, you’ll not only be ready to have a fruitful conversation with your estate planning attorney, you’ll also have a much better picture of what you own and what you owe. If you’re ready to get started or you have additional questions about starting the process of planning your estate, contact our Brandon estate planning law firm at (813) 438-8503 to schedule an appointment.