Estate Planning Initial Meeting Checklist

The following list of information will be discussed at your scheduled meeting. Some people are surprised at the length and breadth of the list – after all, they just want “a simple will.” Please know that is why you hire us: to determine whether you truly are a candidate for a “simple” will…or not. Estate planning could be likened to a road map: we know you are planning for the future, but in preparing the plan we must know your starting point. This list allows us to determine where you are currently in order to know the steps necessary to achieve your desired objective. If a “simple will” is all you need; then that is the document we will prepare! But careful analysis of your assets and beneficiaries is required in order to determine the best plan. We believe that proper planning is one of the best gifts you can give to your loved ones, so we in turn utilize careful due diligence in the process.

Please be prepared to provide the following information. You may also bring appropriate corresponding documentation as noted below, if desired.
– Full names and DOB – photo identification
– Current address, phone number(s), email
– Occupation
– Estimated Annual Income
– If married, date and place of marriage
– If divorced, date and place of divorce
– Any real estate owned by (either of) you outside Texas
– Children: full name; DOB; address (if child does not live with you).
Also, please identify whether these are biological children, step-children, legally adopted, or whether any have passed away, with or without children of their own.
– Assets:
*Checking and savings accounts : Documents needed Signature cards;
Statements
*Brokerage accounts and/or paper stock/bond certificates: Docments needed Share certificates; account statement
*IRAs and/or 401K’s: Documents needed Signature cards; account statement
*Closely held business or partnership interests: Documents needed Company agreement; share certificates
*Real Property: Documents needed Deeds; Mortgages
*Automobiles, Boats, RV’s, ATV’s, etc.: Documents needed Title and/or registration
*Life Insurance: Documents needed Policy; annual statement; beneficiary designations

Liabilities:
– Mortgage (holder; outstanding balance)
– Auto loans
– Credit card debt
– Other

-Fiduciaries: These are the persons whom you trust and wish to appoint to act on your behalf, whether living or deceased. All of the following are fiduciaries you must appoint for your estate plan. For each, you should have a primary and two successors. We need the full name, relationship to you, address and phone number.

Executor: The person who would administer your estate according to your will.

Trustee: The person who would administer trusts on your behalf. Depending on your estate plan, you could have a trustee for a living trust or a trustee for a testamentary trust, i.e., it is not created until you pass.

Guardian: If you have minor children, it is of paramount importance to designate who you would like to care for your children and their estate after you pass. An adult may also name a guardian in the event they have an incapacitating event.

Property Agent (aka, “power of attorney): The person who can act on your behalf in financial matters in the event you are unable to do so yourself. Terminates when you pass.

Health Care Agent: The person who can consult with healthcare professionals and make decisions on your behalf, in the event you are unable.