By Darlynn Morgan: Orange County Wills Lawyer
There are a couple of phrases that make an Orange County wills lawyer cringe at their mere utterance…. and today I would like to discuss one of them with you. That is…
I’m not ready yet!
Truthfully, no one is really ever ready to discuss their own death or the death of a loved one. The good news, though, is that most people see the logic in this and do ultimately understand the importance of planning so their children, spouse, or other loved ones are protected in the event that something happens to them.
Yet, I still hear it; the aforementioned phrase that can sound like fingernails on a chalk board to most estate planning attorneys.
This is because people think that they must be 100% organized and prepared before they take the first step toward creating a will or trust. While it is true that the process of developing an estate plan will eventually help you get your affairs in order (this is one of the added perks!), you don’t have to have every “t” crossed and every “i” dotted to get started.
However, there are a few key items that you should have together (if at all possible) before your first visit with a qualified Orange County wills lawyer. I’ve made a short list for you:
- Names and addresses of your immediate family members and other beneficiaries, as well as people you may choose to serve in roles such as executor or guardian for your children.
- An overall description of your income sources and major assets such as real estate.
- Bank account information such as balances and account numbers.
- Pension and retirement account information.
- Life insurance policy information.
- Copies of any legal agreements such as prenuptial or postnuptial agreements or divorce decrees.
- Any existing estate plan documents.
With this information, a qualified estate planning attorney can go a long way in getting your will or trust together and protecting your family, assets and wishes should the unthinkable happen.
So please don’t let the fact that you are not totally organized stop you from developing a plan for your family. Mention this article and come in for a free Family Wealth Planning Session (normally $750) where we’ll help you get started. Simply call (949) 260-1400 to reserve your spot today.