Estate planning may seem difficult or complicated if you haven’t done it before. But, estate planning attorneys are specially trained to gently walk you through the estate planning process, helping you to set goals and make important choices.
Here are the first 4 steps in estate planning:
1. Hire an estate planning attorney.
This is no time to be messing around with Legal Zoom and the like. Estate planning is a complicated area of law and making a mistake or missing an opportunity could cost you lost dollars, family discord, and unrealized goals.
Because estate planning is complicated, hire an attorney who focuses his or her practice on estate planning. Just as you would hire a family law attorney for an adoption and a real estate lawyer for real estate deals, hire an estate planning attorney for your estate planning.
2. Disclose all relevant information.
Just as your surgeon must know all of your symptoms, your estate planning attorney needs to know all about you and your family, personal and financial goals, and finances. The more information you provide, the better your estate planning attorney can tailor your estate plan to fit you.
3. Ask questions.
While you do need to take a leap of faith and trust your estate planning attorney’s advice and guidance, it is okay and appropriate to ask questions along the way. It’s even okay to ask the same questions more than once. Your estate planning attorney should know that this is a new process for you and that the lingo is not what you use on a day to day basis.
4. Move forward, making difficult decisions.
Don’t let difficult decisions stop you in your tracks. Sometimes it’s difficult to choose trusted helpers and to think about life, death, and money issues. Make the best decisions you can at the time and move forward. All decisions in basic estate planning can be changed whenever you wish. You are in control.
If you have questions about estate planning or the estate planning process, consult with a qualified estate planning attorney.