When you consult an estate attorney in Anne Arundel County, you’ll likely bring along a list of your assets and the names of your intended beneficiaries. But estate planning involves much more than deciding when Junior can access his trust fund or who will receive the family’s heirlooms. You can expect your estate planning attorney to ask you plenty of questions about your life, relationships, and even your identifying information.
Who Will Become the Guardian of Minor Children?
One of the most important decisions a parent can make is who should assume guardianship of minor children in the event of the parent’s death. If you are currently in good health, it may seem premature to think about this issue. However, tragedies can happen at any time. You do not want your family and friends going to Court and fighting over who will care for your children. It is better you plan now who can physically care for your children and who can manage his/her assets, which does not necessary have to be the same person.
Who Will Be Designated Secondary Beneficiaries?
Another question you should consider during estate planning is to whom you would like to bequeath your assets in the event that your primary beneficiaries are also deceased. You may even wish to designate tertiary beneficiaries in case of a major disaster. For example, you might assume that you’ll leave everything to your spouse, and in the event that he or she also passes away, your assets will go to your children. In the unlikely situation that a calamity befalls your entire family, you can name a tertiary beneficiary such as a charitable organization.
Are There Any Discrepancies in Identifying Information?
As you might imagine, estate planning involves a great deal of paperwork. Any discrepancies in your identifying information may lead to legal problems later on. One example is a person that changes their name due to a marriage, divorce, or by Court petition. A more recent issue is individuals who are transgender should inform their attorneys if their gender identification is different on documents such as birth certificates. If this applies to you, your estate planning lawyer can guide you through the process of updating your legal records and making sure proper documents can be found for the Personal Representative.