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Tips for First-Time Estate Planners Including Questions to Ask Your Attorney

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Are you a first-time estate planner? Planning your estate is an important step to ensure your wishes are carried out after your death. Estate planning involves creating a will, setting up trusts, and other legal processes to make sure your assets are distributed according to your wishes. It can be a daunting task, especially for those who are unfamiliar with the process. To help get you started, here are some tips for first-time estate planners.

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The first step in estate planning is to find an estate planning attorney who is knowledgeable about laws in your state. Ask your friends and family for referrals or do a search online to find an experienced lawyer. Be sure to ask your lawyer questions about their experience and qualifications, as well as any fees associated with the process.

Once you have chosen a lawyer, it is important to be prepared for your first meeting. Make a list of all of your assets, including real estate, investments, bank accounts, and life insurance policies. You should also make a list of all of your debts, such as mortgages and credit cards. This information will be necessary for your lawyer to create an effective estate plan.

When meeting with your lawyer, be sure to discuss any specific wishes you have for your estate. These could include who you would like to receive certain assets, or how you would like your assets to be managed after your death. You should also discuss any potential heirs and make sure they are included in your estate plan.

Additional Questions to Ask Your Estate Planning Attorney Could Include:

• How long have you been practicing estate planning law?
• What experience do you have in estate planning?
• What are the fees associated with my estate plan?
• How long will it take to complete my estate plan?
• What type of documents will I need to provide in order to complete my estate plan?
• How often should I review my estate plan?
• What are the potential tax implications of my estate plan?
• Are there any common pitfalls to avoid when creating an estate plan?

Finally, it is important to review your estate plan regularly. As your life changes, your estate plan should be updated to reflect those changes. Additionally, be sure to review your plan every 5-10 years to ensure it is up to date and still meets your needs.

Estate planning can be a complex and intimidating process, but it is essential for ensuring your wishes are carried out after your death. By finding an lawyer and being prepared for your first meeting, you can take the first steps towards securing your estate.

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