What Should I Expect from the First Meeting With a New Jersey Estate Planning Attorney?

We should all plan for our futures and our estate after we are gone, including distributing assets and planning in the event we are seriously ill and/or disabled.  There are many issues to address that an experienced estate planning attorney will help you navigate.

Should I Create an Estate Plan Myself?

It is possible to create an estate plan on your own using stock forms or online programs.  It is possible that this will be sufficient, but it is equally possible that it will not be sufficient and that serious, unintended and expensive errors may occur.   If possible, it is better to receive the assistance of an attorney to guide you through the process. This will ensure the estate plan is created properly. 

Does My Spouse Need to Come to the Meeting With Me?

Spouses are not initially required to attend a meeting with an estate planning attorney together, but the attorney will have to meet with both parties at some point.  There must be transparency and coordination in planning for a couple.

What Should I Bring to the Consultation?

It is important to be prepared in advance for a meeting with an estate planning attorney. Typically, the attorney will provide you with a worksheet to provide some basic information regarding your family/friend situation, potential beneficiaries, priorities and other issues unique to your plan, as well as preliminary decisions.  This is so that the attorney can walk you through the process to determine what is best for you. While certain documentation is not necessarily needed, it is best to mentally prepare yourself regarding the following information:

  • Beneficiaries to inherit your assets and belongings
  • If you have any children that are minors, selecting a guardian appointment.
  • The different kinds of property you own and how the assets are titled.
  • Your choice of fiduciary to carry out your wishes and manage your estate
  • Whether a trust should be created and decisions related to that.

Contact our Firm

The planning and administration of an estate requires experienced legal guidance. If you need an effective attorney to assist you with matters of wills, trusts, and estates, or the taxes associated with them, contact Margaret M. Mahon, Esq. LLC today to schedule a consultation.