Providing a copy of the following items during the estate planning process will assist your attorney in determining which estate planning options would best match your goals and budget. Similar to a medical professional needing access to your complete medical history, your estate planning attorney must have a complete picture of your asset holdings before he/she can make a good recommendation for your estate plan. In addition to the following list of items, you should inform your attorney if you are a current or future beneficiary of any Trust, a party in a litigation matter, or if you anticipate a substantial inheritance in the foreseeable future.
Current Estate Planning Documents:
• Copies of any currently existing estate planning documents, including any powers of attorney for financial or medical, living wills, Last Will and Testaments and any trust documents.
• Copies of your most recent statements for all checking, savings and money market accounts.
• Copies of certificates of deposit.
Investment and Mutual Fund Accounts:
• Copies of your most recent statements for all investment and mutual fund accounts.
Stock and Bond Certificates:
• Copies of all stock certificates.
• Copies of all bonds.
IRA Accounts and Retirement Policies:
• Copies of your most recent statements for all IRA accounts and retirement policies.
• Copies of the declaration pages of any life insurance policy you hold which would indicate the policy number, the death benefit and the name of the insured.
• Copies of the cover pages of any pension plan you hold which would indicate the policy number and the amount of the plan.
• Copies of the cover pages of any annuities you hold which would indicate the policy number, amount of the annuity and the name of the annuitant.
• Information on any business interests owned, including the name of the business, type of business, name of the owner the interest is titled in, percentage of business owned, and value of interest. This information can usually be found in the operating agreement/bylaws, articles of organization/incorporation and unit/stock certificates.
Real Estate and Mineral Interests:
• All deeds or other vesting documents, such as a journal entry of final settlement, showing how/when you acquired ownership of any property (please provide detailed information of any property you have subsequently sold that you have retained an interest in or, if you are coming in to discuss Medicaid Planning, any property sold or gifted in the last 5 years). If you do not have access to deeds or other vesting documents, you will want to provide all possible information needed to acquire said documents, including: recording date of the property/mineral transfer, county and state where the property/minerals are located, Grantee and Grantor names, Decedent’s name and year of death, county and state where the Decedent lived at the time of their death. If you do not know this information a good place to begin is by providing copies of your tax statements.
• If the property has producing minerals, copies of the most recent statement/check stub from the producer.
Wind Energy Interests:
• Copies of the most recent statement/check stub from the producer.
• Copies of any promissory notes payable to you or from you, as well as the contact information of the payee/payor.
• Contact information for any cooperative (electrical, communications, agricultural) in which you own capital credits.
• Copies of any prepaid funeral contracts or agreements.
For more information on the estate planning process, please contact Davis & McCann, P. A., Dodge City, KS. We are members of Wealth Counsel, a national consortium of Estate Planning Attorneys and focus our practice on providing clients with the best legal advice on estate planning, Medicaid and Long-term Care Planning, Business Formation, Family Business/Small Business Succession Planning, Probate, Trust Administration, Real Estate Transactions, and related matters.
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