If you are new to estate planning, and are unsure of where to begin, use this guide to start and to know what questions to ask. When meeting with your estate planning lawyer for the very first time, you probably will have a lot of questions– or you may have no questions at all, because you don’t know where to start. We are here to help.

The main goal of estate planning is to create a plan to transfer wealth and assets to your loved one, known here as beneficiaries, after you pass away. Once you understand the main goal of estate planning, it is easier to understand what questions you may need to ask a lawyer. Whether or not you’re married, if you have children, the amount of assets you hold, and other factors will all determine the estate planning tools you should or should not use. Read on to learn more about the relationship between you and your estate planning lawyer, what you can and cannot expect, and what you should look for in an attorney client relationship.

How Do You Communicate With Your Clients And How Often?

It is wise to ask your lawyer how they will be communicating with you on an ongoing basis. Some people complain that their lawyer is unresponsive and does not answer their phone calls or questions for weeks on end. At Thomas Walters, we pledge to be as responsive as possible with all your questions and concerts. It’s important to us to have enough administrative staff and support to meet the needs of our clients, and will never allow you to feel ignored or unheard.

You can ask a lawyer if someone is on hand to answer quick questions and if you can or cannot expect to get right through to your lawyer anytime you call the office. If you have very pressing needs and questions and feel that you will need to communicate with your lawyer often this is a great question to ask right away to manage their expectations.

Can An Estate Planning Lawyer Help Me With Buying Insurance Or Retiring?

Yes, a large part of estate planning is managing your insurances and planning for your retirement as well. An estate planning lawyer will look at all of your assets and will create a strong plan for making sure your wishes are upheld once you pass away. Since your insurance, bank accounts, pensions, retirement accounts, and other assets of this nature overlap into estate planning law, your lawyer can help with these milestones, too, and will factor them into your estate plan appropriately.

What Elements Of An Estate Plan Are Correct For Me?

No two people are the same. For that reason, our attorneys will advise you regarding which elements of an estate plan are best for you and what you and your beneficiaries might need in the future. For example, those with special needs children may create a special needs trust, which takes into account all of the unique challenges in needs of a child who is perhaps autistic or suffers from other mentally handicapped conditions. Knowing that your child may need access to social security benefits later in life, your attorney can set up a special needs trusts that maximizes your child’s opportunity to get the government assistance they need later in life. Your lawyer will listen to your unique family situation and lifestyle, and will advise what tools are necessary for you. You may be advised to have a healthcare proxy, a durable power of attorney, or perhaps a pooled trust or revocable trust.

By scheduling a free consultation with a Chapel Hill estate planning attorney you can learn what elements of an estate plan would benefit your family. Without the help of a skilled estate planning attorney, you run the risk of not knowing what elements of an estate plan would benefit you the most.

What Happens In My First Free Consultation?

In your first free consultation, this is a good opportunity to ensure that you feel comfortable with your lawyer. You should make sure that this lawyer is providing you with specific guidance and key information that benefits you, your family and beneficiaries, your business (if you have one), and other important aspects of your life.

Your lawyer will provide you with preliminary information about how to get started with an estate plan which may include next steps. You can bring a list of questions for your initial consultation.

To learn more about creating an estate plan, contact Thomas Walters today and schedule a free initial consultation about your situation.