Checklist of Documents and Information
Please bring the following documents and information to the initial meeting with your estate planning attorney. The most important thing about estate planning is to get started. Do not delay, postpone, re-schedule or cancel your initial meeting if you do not have all of the requested information as there will still be time after your initial meeting to gather this information before the final drafts of your estate planning documents are executed.
- Name, age and address of spouse
- Name, age and address of children
- Name, age and address of grandchildren
- Name, age and address of ex spouse
- Name, age and address of step children and step grandchildren
REAL ESTATE INFORMATION
- Copy of deeds to all properties (If deed are not available, provide a complete list of the full address of all properties. Please include primary residence, rental property, vacation homes, property owned by your business and any property you anticipate receiving as an inheritance.)
- Provide the name and address of each person to whom the above listed property should be given upon your death
- Copy of title/registration for all automobiles (If not available, list the year, make, model and VIN# for all vehicles)
- List and specifically describe all personal property items that do not have a title or deed but that you would like to transfer to a specific person (i.e. art collection, china, jewelry, antiques, books, heirlooms, keepsakes of all kinds, etc.)
BANKING AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION
- List of all bank accounts including for each account the account number, account balance, name of bank, type of account and names on the account, also state whether the account has a beneficiary
- List all CDs, Bonds, Stocks, U.S. Treasury notes and any pensions, annuities and/or retirement accounts (Please provide copies of documentation showing account numbers, names on the accounts and if any beneficiaries are on the accounts)
LIFE INSURANCE POLICIES
- List all life insurance policies including name of insurance company, policy number, amount of insurance coverage, name of beneficiaries (Also, provide a copy of policy)
- List the names of any person who will be named as personal representative and the alternate to the personal representative in your Last Will & Testament
- List the names of any person named as a trustee of a trust in which you provided the assets or trust property
- Give the name, address and home and cell phone numbers of any person who will serve as power of attorney for medical decisions (should name a primary and an alternate person)
- Give the name, address and home and cell phone numbers of any person who will serve as power of attorney for your personal financial and business transactions
DETERMINE THE GOAL YOU WANT TO REACH THROUGH ESTATE PLANNING
- Would you like to be an organ donor?
- Do you hope to reduce estate taxes?
- Do you hope to provide for children or grandchildren?
- Would you like to disinherit anyone or make sure a particular person does not get a particular property or item from your estate?
- Do you have specific instructions for your final arrangements such as cremate or do not cremate?
- Where do you keep your important papers such as you Last Will & Testament and insurance documents?
- Please list the name of any business in which you are the owner, a partner, a manager or board member. For each business, please indicate the position you hold in the business.