Your first meeting with your estate planning attorney may seem daunting especially when you don’t know what to expect. But not to worry; your first meeting with an estate planning attorney is an opportunity for the attorney to know your estate situation, goals, and wishes. This knowledge will better position them to offer you expert assistance. They would therefore know what estate planning strategies to employ that will cater to your needs and address your current estate situation.
Your first consultation with an attorney is usually free.
Likely questions your attorney will ask you during your first meeting
Your estate planning attorney will likely ask you about you, your family, and your finances. Some likely questions an estate planning attorney will ask during the first consultation will likely include but are not limited to the following:
- Do you have a child with special needs?
- Do you have minors? (children below 18 cannot inherit under New York laws)
- Are you currently single, married, or divorced?
- Are you in a blended family and need assurance that your own kids from the previous marriage get a share in your inheritance when you pass away?
- Do you have complexly owned assets and are unsure how they will pass on your death?
- Would you prefer to receive long-term care in your home or be put in an assisted living facility when the time comes?
- Do you wish to shield your assets from liens, nursing home costs, etc., while qualifying for Medicaid?
- Do you have debts that you are worried you worried you won’t be able to settle them while leaving enough for your family?
- Do you own real property in other states beside New York?
- Is your estate a large one? An estate in New York may face a lot of taxes if it values above the estate tax threshold.
Your attorney may also ask about:
- Your age
- What assets you own and the value of the assets
- How many children you have and their age
- Whether you currently have an estate planning document in place, such as a will or trust.
- If you have anyone in mind you would like to put in charge of your financial affairs in the event something happens to you.
You have to be relaxed and open for your attorney to assist you in their best capacity
It is true that some of these questions would sound intrusive. This is the more reason it’s good to know the kind of questions to expect.
Some people may not be willing to share some personal information because of how uncomfortable it makes them. For instance, you may find it hard to talk about that child born outside your marriage.
Regardless, your attorney can only help you efficiently if they have a perfect understanding of your situation and needs. If you do not want that child to inherit from your estate, it’s important you tell your attorney because such a child may have entitlement to your estate even though you don’t want them to. So it’s best to include such wishes in your plan.
And you should know that whatever information you share remains strictly confidential between you and your attorney.
Some questions to ask your attorney during your first meeting
The following are some questions you should ask your attorney during your first consultation.
- Is this your primary focus of legal practice?
- How long have you been practicing?
- Would you be the one to execute the estate documents? (Some lawyers would draft your documents for you and leave you to execute them. Others would execute your trusts for you)
- Do you conduct periodic reviews?
- Given my estate situation, how would you help me plan towards tax savings?
- Can you help ne design a holistic estate plan that covers asset transfer, incapacity planning, long term care, guardianship? – and any other thing that concerns you.
- How do you charge?
- Would you send me the documents to review before you execute them?
Such questions will help you determine how your attorney intend to assist you. This tells you whether they are a good hire or not.
Estate planning attorney near me New York
Are you looking towards estate planning in New York? Congratulations, you are about to make a tremendous step to protecting your future and your loved ones, and our New York estate attorneys are ready to help you. Call us to get in touch with an estate planning attorney near you NY.
Your first consultation is free.