Starting the estate planning process can feel daunting, but with the help of an experienced Florida attorney, it can often be a fairly straightforward process. One thing that can help ease the process is having some conversations and gathering important documents before the initial estate planning consultation. Preparing for the most common questions and considerations can make it easier to get one’s wishes in a legally sound document for the future.
Some of the most typical of these considerations include the following:
- Selecting a guardian for any minor children: Ideally, a successor to the first choice of guardian will also be named, in case something should happen to the first person picked. Parents who are struggling with their choice may instead bring their questions and concerns to an attorney for advice.
- A selection of individuals to act as power of attorney, executor, and trustee: Couples who are planning their estates together should have a conversation in advance about who would be best suited for each role in the estate process. Those estate planning alone might wish to prepare a list of options to reference when making the decisions. Sometimes, the same person will make sense for multiple roles.
- A list of personal property: While this list does not have to be comprehensive, it does help to have a general idea of what assets will be disseminated through the will. This is particularly important for those who wish to “earmark” a certain item for one or more beneficiaries.
- Plans for the care of pets: Pets are considered property under estate law, but for many planners they are beloved family members. It can help to consider what might happen to a pet after one passes away, so arrangements can be clearly articulated in the estate plans.
Depending on the particulars of the estate and the planner’s intentions, there may be other things to have at the ready at the consultation. For example, if one plans to give some or all of the estate to charity, having the details of the intended charity would be a good idea. To understand more specifics of what to bring to a consultation, ask your Florida estate planning lawyer’s office in advance of the meeting.