Top Questions to Ask Your Estate Planning Attorney

May 7, 2024

Estate planning is a crucial aspect of ensuring your assets and loved ones are taken care of according to your wishes after your passing. When you meet with your estate-planning attorney, it is essential to ask the right questions to make sure your plan is comprehensive and tailored to your needs. Here are some top questions to ask your estate-planning attorney –

What estate planning documents do I need? Depending on your circumstances, your attorney might recommend a will, a living trust, powers of attorney, and healthcare directives, among other documents. Asking this question helps you understand what is essential for your unique situation.

How can I minimize estate taxes? Estate taxes can significantly affect the value of the assets you leave to your beneficiaries. Inquire about strategies your attorney can employ to help you minimize potential tax burdens, such as gifting during your lifetime or creating trusts.

How do I ensure my estate plan remains up-to-date? Estate planning is not a one-time event; it is an ongoing process. Ask your attorney how often you should review your plan and under what circumstances, such as major life events or changes in law, it might need to be updated.

Estate Planning Attorney

Whom should I name as my executor or trustee? Choosing the right executor for your will or trustee for your trust is crucial. Ask your attorney what qualities you should look for in these roles and discuss any concerns you have about potential candidates.

What happens if I become incapacitated? Discuss your options for health care and financial decisions if you cannot make them yourself. Inquire about appointing a durable power of attorney and a healthcare proxy to ensure your wishes are honored.

What are the probate implications of my plan? Probate can be a lengthy and costly process. Ask your attorney how your estate plan can help streamline or avoid probate, perhaps by using trusts or other strategies.

What happens to my business? If you own a business, you need a clear succession plan. Ask your attorney how to structure your estate plan to ensure a smooth transition for your business and how to protect it for the future.

How can I protect my digital assets? Digital assets such as online accounts, crypto currencies, and intellectual property are increasingly significant. Discuss how to manage and distribute these assets as part of your estate plan.

How will my wishes be communicated to my loved ones? Clarity is key when it comes to your estate plan. Ask your attorney how your wishes can be communicated effectively to your family to avoid misunderstandings or disputes.

These questions serve as a starting point for an open and honest conversation with your estate planning services attorney. They will help you craft a plan that is personalized to your needs and circumstances, offering you peace of mind knowing that your loved ones will be well taken care of according to your wishes.