What to Expect
From the introductory phone call to the signing meetings, you can feel more comfortable knowing what to expect during the process. Learn what to expect from:
Preparing for Your First Meeting
Whether this is your first time working with an attorney or your twentieth, McCreary Law Office wants you to feel comfortable with the process. When you hire an attorney for estate planning, elder law, or probate, you are creating a relationship that McCreary Law Office views as personal and trusted. Your attorney needs to know about you and your family so she can give the best advice possible. You will get the most out of our meetings if you are prepared.
Your Initial Planning Session Worksheet
To help you prepare for your first meeting, McCreary Law Office will send you an online form to complete. Please complete that as best you can. Although you might not have all of the information, completing as much as you can is a good starting point. The information requested will not only guide the conversation during the Initial Planning Session, but the information also is crucial for the attorney to be able to offer accurate advice. You can rest assured that your answers are kept confidential.
Gather Names and Contact Information
In addition to completing the online form, another thing you can do to prepare for your meeting is to gather the contact information for anyone who will be involved in your plan or your case. If we move forward with your planning or your case, McCreary Law Office will request names, phone numbers, addresses, and birthdates for anyone you name to be in charge of things for your plan and for anyone you name as a beneficiary. If we are working together on a probate matter, the office will need to get that information for family members and people named in any will. You do not need all of this for your consultation, but you can go ahead and start to pull that together.
Start Getting Your Information Together
For estate planning clients, this is also a good time to start to gather information about what you own. Try to pull together bank statements, retirement account statements, deeds to property, car titles, stock statements, life insurance policies, your business agreements (if you own a business), and anything else that you show you own by your name on a document or an online account. If you do not have all of this, that’s okay; we can still get started. McCreary Law Office will work with you throughout the process. As we do move forward, for full estate planning we need to know exactly who owns these items (e.g., you, you and your spouse jointly, you and your sibling, etc.) and if anything already has beneficiaries named (such as life insurance or retirement accounts). This is particularly important for married couples when we are addressing community and separate property issues.