Your initial consultation with an estate planning attorney should be similar to your initial consultation with your physician.
First, you will be asked to provide information about yourself and your family. Are you married? Do you have any children? Did you have previous marriages? Do you have any grandchildren? What are the ages of you and your family?
You will be asked about your assets and their nature and extent. You will be asked about your goals. Who will take care of all kinds of matters when you are unable to do so?
As many patients try to conceal certain information from physicians, some clients try to conceal certain information from attorneys. It is important for the attorney to know the full answer to all questions asked, just as it is important for the physician to know. The estate planning attorney asks the questions to help anticipate issues that might arise. For example, you may be reluctant to discuss a child you had fathered out of wedlock years ago. If you do not want that child to benefit from your estate, you should disinherit that child. A child simply omitted may be entitled to what they would have gotten had you died without a Will or Trust.
At Morrison Law Group PLC, our role is to help you realize your goals and dreams while guarding against life’s risks. For example, let’s say you want to leave assets to your child with special needs. We can draft a trust so that those assets will be available for your child’s benefit, rather than being taken to pay or reimburse governmental agencies for benefits for which he or she is eligible.
Attorney, Chip Morrison, will go over your goals with you and plot a course to achieve that goal. After you agree on the strategies involved, our office will draft the documents and directions to effectuate those strategies. For example, Mr. Morrison may draft a power of attorney to designate who will be your agent to make financial or health care decisions when you are unable to make them for yourself. He may draft a deed placing title to your home into your revocable living trust so that it will not be subject to probate on the death of the survivor of you and your spouse.
Your estate planning attorney and your physician are educated professionals who are there to help you achieve your goals, whatever those might be. When you leave your attorney’s office, you should have an understanding of what the general plan is to achieve your goal and what steps will be taken next, and by whom.
How do you choose an estate planning attorney? A recent segment on a CNN financial news cable network indicated that one of the most important factors to consider is your comfort level with the attorney and whether the attorney meets stringent continuing education requirements. Organizations such as the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys (www.aaepa.com) impose stringent continuing education requirements, so you might want to start your search for an attorney at their website.
Once you have chosen an estate planning attorney and have had the initial consultation, you will know you made the right choice with a sigh of relief and satisfaction as you leave the attorney’s office.
Morrison Law Group, PLC has devoted its practice to estate planning and elder law matters for more than 18 years and has been a Member of the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys since 2017. Morrison Law Group, PLC is one of only three firms in Louisiana to be admitted to Academy Membership. The firm has helped thousands of clients meet their estate planning goals and pass on lasting legacies to their loved ones. To learn more about how you can achieve your estate planning goals, please call (504) 831-2348 or visit our website at www.morrisonlawplc.com.
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