What to Bring to a Will Consultation

So you are finally going to get your will done. This has probably been something that has been placed on your “to do” list and moved to the bottom time and time again.

Once you have finally decided to proceed, you’ve called the estate planning lawyer and made the appointment.  Now, what to bring to the appointment?

  1. Option One: nothing but a notepad.   If you have never had a will before, only want to chat and get advice and have a general idea of what you want to do, you can bring “nothing” to the appointment.
  2. Your old will.   If you have a current will and think it would be helpful for the lawyer to see it, bring it (or a copy of it) to the meeting.
  3. Your notes/list of what you want to accomplish, and any questions you have. This may help you stay focused during the meeting, but it is not necessary to create this list for the lawyer.
  4. Concerns, if any  If you are heavily in debt, unsure about whether or not something is titled in your name, worried about an heir who has a substance abuse problem, etc., then bring the details of your concerns.
After the appointment, your lawyer will give you specific forms to fill out.   You will be asked to provide; the full names of your spouse and children, the names of your beneficiaries, executor(s), and trustee(s).  You will be asked about the items and assets in your estate.  You will be asked to specify in writing “who gets what”.  Take care in filling out these forms because they will be used to draft your will.
It is perfectly fine to arrive at the law office with no clear idea of how you want your will to read. The consultation appointment is meant to help you make decisions, and help make your planning easier.
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