What to Expect During Your Free Consultation with Life Counsel & Planning
At Life Counsel & Planning, we offer a free initial in-person or online consultation to provide you with a basic understanding of our services while giving us a chance to meet you and review your goals. This meeting is simply a conversation that provides the framework for tailoring the estate plan that addresses your unique needs.
What to Bring
During this first meeting it is very helpful if you would bring the following documents:
- Previous Estate Planning Documents. If you already have a will, power of attorney and trusts in place, it is helpful for us to review these documents.
- Financial Documents. Having financial documents in hand makes it easier to discuss specifics versus generalities. These documents may include bank, investment and retirement account statements.
- Additional Policies and Plans. Copies of your retirement plan and annuity contracts and life insurance policies will allow us to create a comprehensive and integrated estate plan.
- Please bring a copy of the deeds to any property that you own which you anticipate will be a part of your estate plan.
- Prenuptial or Marriage Agreements. If these documents exist or if you have committed any portion of your estate to a divorced spouse as part of your settlement agreement, please bring this information with you to the meeting.
- Professional Advisors Contact Information. It will be helpful to have contact information for your attorney, CPA, insurance professionals and financial advisors.
- Personal Contact Information. In addition to your contact information, we will need the contact information for family members, persons you might name as trustees, guardians, executors and agents under a power of attorney, and clergy members.
- Charitable Contact Information.If you know that you will include one more charities as beneficiaries of your estate, please bring this contact information with you.
In addition to these documents, you may wish to bring a written list of your questions or concerns so that you will be reminded to ask them. Bringing a written list or description of your estate planning goals is also helpful.
Please note that if the first consultation is online, do having this information available to you is helpful but you do not need to provide us with these documents until you are ready to move forward with the drafting of your estate plan.
The Process Starts with You
While the above documents are useful, the initial consultation begins by us getting to know you better. Some of our questions may seem intrusive, but they are necessary because they provide the information we need to create an estate plan that is right for you. These questions will address:
- Your marital status;
- If there were previous marriages;
- How many children and grandchildren you have at this time, if any;
- Your age and the ages of the members of your family;
- The assets you own, their value and how they are titled;
- If there are existing estate planning documents; and
- Who you want to use as agents, trustees and executors for various aspects of your estate plan.
While it may be uncomfortable for you to divulge certain aspects of your life to our attorney, it is important that we understand the full scope of your life, including past marriages, children born out of wedlock, or a child that you don’t want to receive a portion of your estate. All of this information is necessary to create the plan that fully accomplishes your goals and avoids legal problems or unintended beneficiaries later.
At the conclusion of this meeting, you will need to determine if Life Counsel & Planning is the best fit for your needs. What we have offered is truly a free consultation and you are under no obligation to work with us, though we certainly hope that you will entrust your estate plan into our exceedingly capable hands.
Once you have selected our firm, we will create an estate plan that achieves your goals. As part of this process we will stay in contact with you to address various aspects of the plan with you along the way. You are also welcomed to contact us at any time to ask questions, provide additional information or make changes to the details of your plan. We will schedule at least one more meeting to review your personalized estate plan, explain specific details and assure that it fully addresses your goals and intentions.
The final step is that your plan is completed and fully executed. You can now enjoy your life knowing that your future is secured.