Everything You Need to Know Before You Meet with your Attorney
The estate planning process can seem a little daunting. Having gone through the process, I remember walking into my lawyer’s office and not having a clue what was going to happen— much less how much it would cost. In this episode, with my younger pre-estate planning self in mind, I interview Susie Meyers who is an estate planning attorney with Warner Norcross & Judd LLP. Susie gives real, practical and actionable advice on why you should have an estate plan, and what you can do to prepare to save yourself a few dollars in the process.
Topics discussed in this episode:
- About Susie Meyers
- What is estate planning?
- Why do I need an estate plan?
- What does the first meeting look like? How can I prepare?
- How do I find an attorney?
- Do I bring my spouse?
- The process
- Role of the advisor
- At the very least: Have a Durable Power of Attorney
- Bonus Questions
At a Glance—The Estate Planning Process:
- Meet with your estate planning attorney. The initial meeting will take around 1½ hours.
- The attorney drafts your documents.
- You review your documents and request any final changes.
- You sign (all documents must be witnessed and some must be notarized).
An Estate Planner’s Tips for Preparing for Your First Meeting:
- Ask your attorney what they need in advance of the meeting to make your time together efficient. In many cases, your attorney will send you a form in advance.
- Compile your financial information.
- Prepare a list of your assets and know how they are titled.
- If you are a business owner, collect your business agreements and plans.
- Collect your life insurance information (payout, type, etc)
- Think over who you would choose to make decisions on your behalf. Who should care for your children? Who should receive your assets? Who should make medical decisions in the event that you are unable?
Notable and Quotable:
“Everyone has an estate plan whether you draft it or not,” —Susie Meyers #estateplanning101 #successfulgenerations
“Estate planning is not just for the elderly or wealthy. It’s important for everyone,” —Susie Meyers #estateplanning101 #successfulgenerations
“Once a child turns 18, a parent no longer has the ability to make medical decisions for them or access their finances,” —Susie Meyers #estateplanning101 #successfulgenerations
“At the very least everyone should have a Durable Power of Attorney and a Patient Advocate Designation, also known as a Medical Power of Attorney,” —Susie Meyers #estateplanning101 #successfulgenerations
“A prenup covers property rights of a spouse in the event of divorce or death. You still need an estate plan to execute what you agree to in the prenup,”—Susie Meyers #estateplanning101 #successfulgenerations
“Estate planning is like building a house—lots change orders will add to the price,” —Susie Meyers #estateplanning101 #successfulgenerations
Resources mentioned in this episode:
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If you are the next generation of family business, philanthropy and wealth, and have a topic you think we should discuss, let us know at Ellie@successfulgenerations.com.