How to Prepare for Estate Planning

Estate planning involves writing a will, creating trusts, deciding who will make your healthcare decisions if you are incapacitated, who has power of attorney over your finances and who will protect your children and their properties. If you have decided to get help with your estate planning and searched for a local estate planning professional (e.g., Ponte Vedra Beach Estate Planning), you need to prepare for your meeting.

Personal Notes

First, consider writing one or more personal notes to your loved ones.

Identify Your Debts

Outstanding debt is often paid by your estate. Therefore, you need to identify all your long- and short-term debt, including credit cards, mortgages and other debts. Gather the account numbers and current paperwork that states what you own on each debt. Your debt list should be updated regularly.

Develop an Inventory

Your estate plan will include a will and testament, so you need to take an inventory of your belongings. This includes your tangible assets, such as your real estate holdings, collectible items, jewelry and vehicles. Include anything of value and anything you have promised to specific people. You should also include intangible assets, such as bank accounts, securities, life insurance policies, retirement plans and investments and businesses you own. Membership lists may also be included if these can be transferred.

Then, gather the paperwork or appraisals for each asset.

Update Your Insurance

If you have life insurance, contact each life insurance company to ensure that your beneficiaries are correct. This money will pass directly to the beneficiary listed on the policy.

Choose an Administrator

You may choose a relative or professional, such as an estate attorney, who is capable of making decisions and understanding your desired asset distribution to handle your estate plan execution when you die. You may also choose a power of attorney in the event you are unable to make decisions for yourself.

Medical Care

Identify your medical preferences, such as resuscitation and life support, in case you are incapacitated or cannot make these decisions.

A qualified estate planner will help you form a comprehensive plan, including estate tax plans and special circumstances, after you gather this information.