Everyone has an estate. Your home, vehicles, business, property, even digital assets are all part of your estate. Furthermore, all of these things should be part of an effective estate plan. Meeting with an estate planning attorney is one of the most important parts of estate planning. An attorney helps ensure that your rights are protected and that you have considered every variable.
Questions to Ask an Estate Planning Attorney
Before you meet with an attorney, it is helpful to compile a list of questions and concerns you may have about the process. Here are 5 questions you should ask your estate planning attorney and some helpful information to get you started.
1. What assets do I need to protect?
When asking this question, take into consideration anything that could be an asset, including:
- Insurance policies, retirement accounts, stocks, and pensions
- Digital assets including social media accounts or online currency
- Physical property including real estate, vehicles, jewelry, art, or collectibles
- Business assets including intellectual property, proprietary information, etc.
2. How do I best protect assets for my spouse and dependants?
Make a list of the names of your spouse and dependents, or anyone you want to name as a beneficiary. You and your attorney will need to determine the best way to protect and preserve your assets, be it a will, trust, or other means.
3. How do life changes affect my estate plan?
Life events and changes can dramatically affect your estate plan. Your estate planning documents do not automatically change when you experience a life event. Discuss how changes may affect your plan with your attorney, and detail any events or concerns, such as:
- Divorce or remarriage
- Birth or death of a child/dependent
- Civil unions
- Injury or disability
- Named beneficiary being incarcerated
4. How do taxes affect my estate plan?
Taxes are an important element of estate planning that can affect you and your beneficiaries. Make sure you discuss your tax concerns with your attorney and, if applicable, with named beneficiaries to ensure you are prepared.
5. Do I need to name beneficiaries for non-probate assets?
Some assets are non-probate, meaning that they do not apply to standard probate and estate planning laws and rules. In some cases, life insurance, bank accounts, and investments are non-probate. Depending on how your policies and accounts are set up, you may not need to name a particular beneficiary in your estate plan. Your policy or account may already have details about managing the asset.
Have More Questions or Concerns?
While these 5 questions are among the most common, every estate plan is different. The best way to find answers to your questions and address your estate planning concerns is to contact an estate planning attorney you can trust.
At Daic Law, we understand the unique nature of estate planning and work closely with our clients to ensure that you and your family understand the process and get the protection that you need. To learn more about how we can help you with estate planning, call us at 877-893-6040, or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.