Many in-person meetings have moved to virtual meetings due to the coronavirus pandemic. And this has led some people to put off important financial planning. But if you’re ready to work on your estate plan, there’s no time like the present.
Getting your affairs in order is important and will give you peace of mind. It’s entirely possible to complete an estate plan during the pandemic and still stay safe while observing appropriate social distancing.
Many local estate planning attorneys have an information sheet that will outline the basic information you will need to prepare your estate plan. Once you gather up and prepare the requested information outlined on the sheet, you can send these details to your attorney using secure means.
Ready to get started with your estate plan? Here’s a look at the steps you’ll take and information your attorney will have you provide.
Preparing an Estate Plan with an Illinois Attorney
The first step in preparing your estate plan is to choose a trusted attorney. Make sure to choose a local attorney who practices in your state. Ask a few friends, coworkers or neighbors if they have any recommendations for an estate planning attorney.
Next, reach out to the attorney via email, a contact form on their website or by phone — whatever you’re most comfortable with. At this point, your attorney will provide you with the next steps and answer your initial questions.
While each attorney is different, here’s a look at the information you can expect to see on an information sheet.
- Create a list of all major assets, such as houses, bank accounts, expensive vehicles, retirement accounts, other real estate and investments
- Outline who you would like to leave your possessions and assets to
- Designate the person or persons who you want to help you conduct your affairs if you are disabled or pass away
- In case you become unable to make healthcare decisions for yourself, designate who has the power of attorney to make those decisions on your behalf
- If you have children, you should also list who you would like to care for those children if you pass away or become unable to care for them
- Individuals with special needs or disabled children should discuss the matter with an attorney as you’ll want to create special protections for them
- As you work through the process, keep a log of any questions you have.
Questions You Might Ask Your Estate Planning Attorney
At first, creating an estate plan might feel overwhelming. There are lots of things to think about and people to include in that plan to ensure your assets go where you want and your loved ones are taken care of.
We’ve put together a list of some common questions we hear from clients.
These might not apply to you and your specific circumstances, but they’ll help you get started with thinking through any questions you might want to ask our team.
- What is a trust and do I need one?
- Will my beneficiaries have to pay inheritance taxes?
- Who can be my trustee?
- What’s the difference between a living trust and a will; how can I best choose between the two?
- Can I make changes to my estate plan after we finalize it and, if so, what does that process look like?
- What do I need to know about probate and how can I simplify it (or avoid it entirely) for my heirs
- I’m still young. Why do I even need to think about estate planning?
Hiring an Estate Planning Attorney
The pandemic should not get in the way of getting your affairs in order. In fact, since many of us have a little more free time on our hands these days, it’s the perfect time to focus on important matters. Adam Diamond Law provides advice and estate planning preparation services. We’ll guide you through the planning process and guide you every step the way.
Get started with your estate plan today by contacting us.
DISCLAIMER: Any information contained herein is solely for informational purposes. While it is important that you educate yourself, nothing herein should be construed as legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. For specific questions, I always urge you to contact a local attorney for advice pertaining to your specific legal needs.