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Knowing what to expect from the New Jersey estate planning process

Our posts include a great deal of information about estate planning, but we often focus on the actual estate planning documents. If you are working with estate planning lawyers in Kearny, it is important to know what to expect at each stage of the process.

Because many professionals have hourly fees, you can save money by being well-prepared for your meetings. The following suggestions can help ensure you get the answers you need each time you meet with your attorneys:

Collect your information: Before your first meeting, gather your personal and financial documents. Make lists of your current financial advisers; assets and liabilities; and financial documents, such as retirement plans, life insurance policies, property deeds and business agreements. A copy of your income tax returns from the past two years may also be helpful.

Identify your goals: Everyone who contacts an attorney with estate planning questions has different concerns and needs. Before you meet with your attorney, take the time to think about your own goals, concerns and ideas. If there are people you know that you'd like to name as beneficiaries, write it down. If there are special situations, document those and how you would like them to be addressed.

Update your information: It is important to remember that wills and trusts are not static legal documents. After you've completed your estate planning documents, you should meet with your attorney every few years to update your information. Marriage, death or any major life change warrants a phone call to your estate planning lawyer.

Source: Journal Sentinel, "Estate planning? Make the most of your money," ARA, Oct. 3, 2011

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McCurrie McCurrie & McCurrie, L.L.C.
680 Kearny Avenue
Kearny, NJ 07032-3010
Phone: (201) 467-4180
Fax: (201) 997-9567
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