You should know a little bit about what to expect before you arrive at your initial estate planning consultation. There is certain information that you are going to have to make available to your attorney, and doing this may take some preparation.
Net Worth Statement
It is always a good idea to keep an ongoing net worth statement. Your net worth is going to be calculated by the IRS and by the state of New York to determine your estate tax liability. Your attorney can help you position these assets with tax efficiency in mind if it is necessary.
To know whether or not tax efficiency strategies are called for your lawyer is going to have to know the extent of your assets and the form that these assets are in.
This is just one of the reasons why the net worth statement is important. Even if you have no estate tax exposure you and your attorney must have a clear understanding of what you have to leave behind as you are planning your estate.
What Are Your Goals?
When you are working with your attorney to devise an estate plan you must elucidate your goals. There is no one way that you must proceed and different people have different ideas. You may want to send your grandchildren to college, or create a trust for the benefit of someone with special-needs. You may have a spendthrift heir that you would like to protect.
Depending on your goals various different courses of action would be called for so you must clearly define them.
To effectively help you plan your estate your attorney must be aware of your family situation. This would include any past marriages and the existence of children from previous marriages.
If you have ever entered into any marital agreements this too would be relevant information.
When you are communicative and forthcoming during the consultation you will be providing your attorney with the information that he or she needs to create an ironclad estate plan that accurately reflects your wishes.