Picture this: we’re sitting down, you and me, ready to dive into the nitty-gritty of your estate plan. There’s often a bit of surprise when I clarify that I can’t make all the decisions for you. After all, I’m not familiar with your family dynamics or your unique preferences.
1. You Need to Think About Who You Want to Receive Your Assets When You Pass Away
In jest, I might suggest my own kids as potential heirs, but rest assured, I’m not advocating for that. It’s just a playful nudge to get you thinking about who you want to entrust with your assets. Of course, if you really want to leave everything to my kids, I won’t stand in your way – though that might not align with your true wishes.
Some folks believe there’s a strict rulebook dictating asset distribution, expecting me to lay out all the specific rules. But here’s the scoop – there isn’t a rigid structure or an overly specific set of rules. You’re in the driver’s seat, with the power to choose who receives your assets and how they’ll inherit them after you’re gone. Before our chat, it’s essential to mull over who you want as your asset’s lucky recipient – your designated beneficiaries. This could be your spouse, kids, other relatives, a charity, or even that friend who’s always had your back. So, before we meet, give some thought to whom you want to bless with your assets.
2. You Need to Think About (and probably list out) What Assets You Have and How Much They Are Worth
Next on the checklist: your assets. While we don’t need a detailed list for your will or trust – updating it for every new purchase or sale would be a hassle – having a general list with approximate values is a smart move. It’s like the roadmap guiding us to decide whether a will alone is sufficient or if we should consider bringing a trust into the estate plan. Factors like holding real estate in multiple states or having significant assets can steer us in the right direction. So, jot down those assets and their ballpark values – it’s like a treasure map leading us to the right plan.
3. You Need to Think About Who You Want to Leave In Charge
Now, let’s talk about who’s going to be the maestro orchestrating the distribution of your assets – your personal representative. This person plays a vital role in bringing your estate plan to life, dealing with beneficiaries, family members, financial institutions, and, if needed, the probate court. It’s a big job, and you want someone up to the task. Many go for a family member, but when that’s not an option, a professional fiduciary might step in. I don’t handle this personally, but fear not, I have some excellent professional fiduciary groups in Colorado that I can recommend. Banks and investment companies also offer such services. The key is to choose someone trustworthy and capable, whether it’s a family member or a professional.
The same thoughtfulness applies when picking someone for financial or medical decisions under a Power of Attorney. It’s your choice, and your estate planning attorney just needs to know who that person is, along with their contact info. So, before our meeting, consider who you trust for these crucial roles.
You Can Find The Type of Information You Need to Provide From the Estate Planning Attorney
If you prefer diving straight into a conversation, you can schedule a meeting here or give me a call to discuss your needs. Remember, a bit of pre-planning will make our conversation smoother and more productive!