WHAT IS MY ROLE IN THE ESTATE PLANNING PROCESS?
You can assist in the development of your estate plan by providing information in a timely manner to your attorney. This information is crucial to getting your estate plan completed efficiently and accurately.
• Initial Meeting: please come to the first meeting with your attorney with the Trust & Will Preliminary Information Packet provided to you by our office (and available under the “Documents” tab) filled out as completely as possible. This will help the attorney identify your needs most clearly and help you to know what questions to ask during your time with the attorney.
• Upon Request: please make sure to respond to any request for further information from our office as soon as possible. This will ensure the timely completion of your estate documents and minimize repeated contacts by our attorney/office that slow down the process.
Funding the Trust: IMPORTANT
If your estate plan includes a Revocable Living Trust, the trust must be properly funded as soon as possible. That is, assets must be transferred to the trust or set up to transfer to your trust upon your death. This is generally accomplished by coordinating with your financial institution. If this is not done, you will have wasted your time and money as your assets will have to be probated and your wishes may not be protected. When you sign your documents, we will provide you with guidelines regarding funding your trust and answer any questions you may have. We work closely with financial planners who are trained in walking a client through the funding process.
Once your plan has been created and completed, it must be maintained. We recommend estate plan review conferences every five years to update your documents. In addition, if there are changes in your family, your desires, or your financial situation, you should always contact your attorney to see if your plan should be revised.