Frequently Asked Questions & Forms

 

FAQ's


What should I bring to my initial appointment?
Estate Planning clients need to bring their completed Estate Planning worksheet which is available below. You can either fill it in online or print it and complete it by hand. You should also bring any estate planning documents you have such as existing trusts, wills or powers of attorney. Your worksheet should be filled out to the best of your ability as it provides us with an opportunity to quickly "issue spot" and make the most of your time with your legal professional.
The information requested on these worksheets may seem like none of our business, but it is very important that an estate planner understands your present situation and your goals for the future. The proper handling of your affairs, should you become incompetent or pass, is largely determined by how you own assets while you are alive, and whether you have named the most competent and trustworthy person to handle your estate.

These worksheets are designed to ensure that we have the information we need to recommend and create an optimal plan. The ultimate objective of planning is to make things as easy as possible for your loved ones, or those you wish to benefit from your life’s work.
What are your office hours?
Where is your office located?
Are you available on weekends via email?
Can I ask an attorney a question over the phone even though I am not a client?
How much will legal services cost?
How long is the initial Consultation?
 
 
 
This worksheet is intended for single clients, or persons who wish to do their estate planning without their spouse or partner involved (even if you have jointly titled assets).

If you are married, and you want your spouse to be involved or included in your estate plan, please look to the DOWNLOAD COUPLES TAB (even if you have separately titled assets).

If you are a non-married couple, and you want your partner to be involved or included in your estate plan, please look to the NON-MARRIED COUPLE, SAME-SEX, AND BLENDED FAMILY TAB (even if you have separately titled assets).

Date
Date of Birth
Address
 
City
Zip Code
 
State
County
 
 
Phone Number
 
Other Phone
 
 
Email
What is your primary motivation for considering estate planning? (Select one or more)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
How soon would you like to complete planning? Is there a specific deadline, such as an upcoming trip, surgery, etc.?
Client
 
Do you presently have a will?
Do you presently have a trust?
Are you interested in avoiding probate of your estate?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Were there any previous marriages?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
If yes, year marriage ended in:
 
 
 
Do any of your children or other beneficiaries have disabilities?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Do you own a farm or business?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
If yes, do any of your children work in the business with you?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
If yes, does the child working in the business have an ownership interest in the business?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Do you have a Child support Obligation or are you subject to a court order requiring you to maintain life insurance for the benefit of your children? ***If you do, please bring a copy of your court orders to your appointment***
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Are you a U.S. citizen?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Do you or any family member or potential beneficiaries have any serious health problems?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
If yes, please describe briefly:
 
Do you own a long-term care (nursing home) insurance policy?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Net Worth: If you added the value of all property you own including real estate, personal property, bank accounts, stocks, bonds, IRAs, and anything else you own except death benefits on life insurance, what is the approximate total value of your estate?
What is the value of death benefits on life insurance insuring you?
What is the total amount of your outstanding liabilities?
 
Do any of your beneficiaries have a learning disability, special educational, medical or physical needs?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Do you have any relatives (other than children) who depend on you for all or part of their support?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Do you think any of your beneficiaries have special problems with spouses, drugs, alcohol or handling money?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Do you wish to disinherit any of your children, grandchildren or any other close relative?
Do you have an existing Property Agreement?
Do either of you expect to inherit substantial assets ($100,000 +)?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Do you have an existing Property Agreement?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Children or Other Beneficiaries
 
Name
 
Address
 
Date of Birth
 
Relationship
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Gift Tax Returns
Have gift tax returns ever been filed to report gifts made? ***If YES, please bring copies of the returns to your appointment.
Appointments
1. Personal Representative. The will should name a personal representative to probate the estate. (Personal representative is also sometimes referred to as executor or administrator.)
 
Personal Reprensentative:
 
 
 
Alternate:
 
 
 
Second Alternate:
 
 
2. Successor Trustee. If you choose to avoid probate of your estate by executing a living trust during lifetime, a successor trustee should be named. The successor trustee would be responsible for managing assets if you were unable to do so. The successor trustee would manage assets in the event of your incapacity and would distribute assets to beneficiaries after death.
 
Successor Trustee:
 
 
 
Alternate:
 
 
 
Second Alternate:
 
 
3. Health Care Agent. Who should be named to make medical decisions on your behalf including decisions regarding medical consents, life support issues, and nursing home admission if you were unable to make these decisions yourself? It is not necessary to appoint the same person who is your successor trustee or personal representative as your health care agent.
 
Health Care Agent:
 
 
 
Alternate:
 
 
 
Second Alternate:
 
 
Plan of Distribution
1. Specific Gifts. Do you want to make charitable gifts, such as to a house of worship or other institution? Do you wish to make a special gift to a particular person, such as a piece of jewelry to a particular child?
2. Briefly describe where you would want assets remaining after any specific gifts are distributed. (Don’t worry about tax planning or other considerations in answering this question. We’ll consider those details later if needed.)
 
 
Equally between children, and if a child didn’t survive, the deceased child’s children would take the share of the deceased child.
 
 
 
 
 
3. Ultimate Distribution. You might want to provide for the distribution of your property if neither you, nor your children/other beneficiaries named above survive.
Please complete this section only if you have minor beneficiaries or beneficiaries with disabilities.
1. Guardian. If you have child(ren) or other beneficiary(ies) who are minors or who have special needs, you may need to appoint a guardian. The guardian is responsible for the day-to-day care of the child. It is a good idea to name an alternate guardian to act if your first choice cannot serve.
 
Guardian:
 
 
 
Alternate
 
 
2. Testamentary Trustee. You may need a trustee to manage assets for beneficiaries until they reach an age when you believe they should be capable of managing assets on their own. A trustee can keep the beneficiary’s money invested wisely and use it for their education, support, etc., until they reach the age specified for outright distribution of assets to them. The trustee can be a relative, friend, trust company, or other person or institution you trust to manage and distribute assets according to your wishes. The testamentary trustee can be the same person named as the guardian, or could be a different person or institution.
 
Testamentary Trustee:
 
 
 
Alternate
 
 
3. Age of Distribution. If you do establish a trust to allow a third party to manage assets for beneficiaries, then it is necessary for you to decide when the beneficiaries will be mature enough to manage assets on their own. You may want to give each beneficiary his or her share at the time the beneficiary reaches a particular age. You may consider splitting the distribution, such as ½ at age 25 and the balance at age 30, or 1/3 at 21, 1/3 at 25, and 1/3 at 35. You may use any age or combination of ages that you choose.
Income/Asset/Liability Information
Please list your income/asset/liability information in the appropriate category below.Attach a separate page if necessary.
Income:
 
Earned Monthly Income from Labor
Monthly Social Security Income
Monthly Pension Income
Other Monthly Income
 
 
 
Type of Asset
 
Title in Which Held (You solely, Joint with third party, Tenants in common, etc.)
 
Current Value
 
Real Estate (Include type of property e.g., residential, agricultural, commercial, or manufacturing.)
 
Personal Residence
 
 
 
 
Vacant Land
 
 
 
 
Other:
 
 
 
Liquid Assets (Include account number and address where held.)
 
Cash on Hand
 
 
 
 
Government and Publicly Traded Securities
 
 
 
 
Unlisted Securities (Not Publicly Traded)
 
 
 
 
Money Market Accounts
 
 
 
 
Equity in Business
 
 
 
 
Notes and Loans Receivable
 
 
 
 
Checking Accounts
 
 
 
 
Savings Accounts
 
 
 
 
Certificates of Deposit
 
 
 
 
Automobiles
 
 
 
 
Other Personal Property
 
 
 
 
Annuities
 
 
Owner
 
Beneficiary
 
 
Current Value
 
 
IRAs
Pension/Profit Sharing
Life Insurance
Other Assets
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cash Value
 
Death Benefit
 
 
 
Liabilities
 
 
Name Loan Taken In
 
Amount Owed
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
General Questions
Notes and Questions: Please note anything else which may be of importance in planning your estate, or note any questions you may have.
 
 
 
 
 
 
This worksheet is intended for married couples who only have children of this marriage and who want their spouse to be involved or included in their estate planning (even if you have separately titled assets).
Date:
Husband
 
 
 
 
 
 
Date of Birth
 
 
Wife
 
 
 
 
 
 
Date of Birth
 
 
Address
 
City
Zip Code
 
State
County
 
 
Husband’s Phone Number
 
 
 
Wife’s Phone Number
 
 
 
Email
 
 
 
Marital Status:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Date of Marriage:
 
 
 
If single, (including divorced or widowed and not remarried) use the Estate Planning Worksheet for single individuals.
What is your primary motivation for considering estate planning? (Select one or more)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
How soon would you like to complete planning? Is there a specific deadline, such as an upcoming trip, surgery, etc.?
 
 
Husband
 
Wife
 
 
Do you presently have a will?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Do you presently have a trust?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Are you interested in avoiding probate of your estate?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Were there any previous marriages?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
If yes, year marriage ended in:
 
 
 
Are any of your children not from your current relationship?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Do any of your children or other beneficiaries have disabilities?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Do you own a farm or business?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
If yes, do any of your children work in the business with you?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
If yes, does the child working in the business have a ownership interest in the business?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Are you a U.S. citizen?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Have you entered into any agreements with your spouse(such as a prenuptial or community property agreement)?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Do you have a have a Child support Obligation or are you subject to a court order requiring you tomaintain life insurance for the benefit of you children?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
*** If you do, please bring a copy of your court orders to your appointment***
 
Do you or any family member or potential beneficiaries have any serious health problems?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
If yes, please describe briefly:
 
Do you own a long-term care (nursing home) insurance policy?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Do you hold everything jointly with your spouse, or is some property separate?
 
 
 
All joint (except IRA's, pensions, etc.)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Net Worth: If you added the value of all property owned by yourself and your spouse including real estate, personal property, bank accounts, stocks, bonds, IRAs, and anything else you own except death benefits on life insurance, what is the approximate total value of the estate of yourself and your spouse?
What is the value of death benefits on life insurance?
Insuring
 
 
Husband
 
 
 
 
Wife
 
 
 
What is the total amount of your outstanding liabilities?
 
Do any of your beneficiaries have a learning disability, special educational, medical or physical needs?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Do you have any relatives (other than children) who depend on you for all or part of their support?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Do you think any of your beneficiaries have special problems with spouses, drugs, alcohol or handling money?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Do you wish to disinherit any of your children,grandchildren or any other close relative?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Do you have an existing Property Agreement?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Do either of you expect to inherit substantial assets ($100,000 +)?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Children or Other Beneficiaries
 
Name
 
Address
 
Date of Birth
 
Relationship
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Gift Tax Returns
Have gift tax returns ever been filed to report gifts made? ***If YES, please bring copies of the returns to your appointment
Appointments
1. Personal Representative. The will should name a personal representative to probate the estate. (Personal representative is also sometimes referred to as executor or administrator.) (e.g., spouse as primary personal representative, with a child, relative, friend, or corporate trustee as alternate. In situations where there are children by a previous relationship, spouse as primary personal representative may not be appropriate.)
 
Personal Reprensentative:
 
 
 
Alternate:
 
 
 
Second Alternate:
 
 
2. Successor Trustee. If you choose to avoid probate of your estate by executing a living trust during lifetime, a successor trustee should be named. The successor trustee would be responsible for managing assets if you were unable to do so. The successor trustee would manage assets in the event of your incapacity and would distribute assets to beneficiaries after death.
 
Successor Trustee:
 
 
 
Alternate:
 
 
 
Second Alternate:
 
 
3. Health Care Agent. Who should be named to make medical decisions on your behalf including decisions regarding medical consents, life support issues, and nursing home admission if you were unable to make these decisions yourself? It is not necessary to appoint the same person who is your successor trustee or personal representative as your health care agent.
 
Health Care Agent:
 
 
 
Alternate:
 
 
 
Second Alternate:
 
 
Plan of Distribution
1. Specific Gifts. Do you want to make charitable gifts, such as to a house of worship or other institution? Do you wish to make a special gift to a particular person, such as a piece of jewelry to a particular child?
2. Briefly describe the plan of distribution for assets remaining after any specific gifts described above are made. (Don’t worry about tax planning or other considerations in answering this question. We’ll consider those details later if needed.)
 
 
All to spouse; then among children, and if a child didn’t survive, the deceased child’s share to the deceased child’s children.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
3. Ultimate Distribution. You might want to provide for the distribution of your property if neither you, your spouse, nor your children/other beneficiaries named above survive.
Please complete this section only if you have minor beneficiaries or beneficiaries with disabilities.
1. Guardian. If you have child(ren) or other beneficiary(ies) who are minors or who have special needs, you may need to appoint a guardian. The guardian is responsible for the day-to-day care of the child. It is a good idea to name an alternate guardian to act if your first choice cannot serve.
 
Guardian:
 
 
 
Alternate:
 
 
2. Testamentary Trustee. You may need a trustee to manage assets for beneficiaries until they reach an age when you believe they should be capable of managing assets on their own. A trustee can keep the beneficiary’s money invested wisely and use it for their education, support, etc. until they reach the age specified for outright distribution of assets to them. The trustee can be a relative, friend, trust company, or other person or institution you trust to manage and distribute assets according to your wishes. The testamentary trustee can be the same person named as the guardian or could be a different person or institution.
 
Testamentary Trustee:
 
 
 
Alternate:
 
 
3. Age of Distribution. If you do establish a trust to allow a third party to manage assets for beneficiaries, then it is necessary for you to decide when the beneficiaries will be mature enough to manage assets on their own. You may want to give each beneficiary his or her share at the time the beneficiary reaches a particular age. You may consider splitting the distribution, such as ½ at age 25 and the balance at age 30, or 1/3 at 21, 1/3 at 25, and 1/3 at 35. You may use any age or combination of ages that you choose.
General Questions
Notes and Questions: Please note anything else which may be of importance in planning your estate, or note any questions you may have.
Income/Asset/Liability Information
Please list your income/asset/liability information in the appropriate category below.Attach a separate page if necessary.
 
Income
 
Husband
 
Community/Joint
 
Wife
 
 
Earned Monthly Income from Labor
 
 
 
 
 
Monthly Social Security Income
 
 
 
 
 
Monthly Pension Income
 
 
 
 
 
Other Monthly Income
 
 
 
 
 
Type of Asset
 
Title in Which Held (Husband sole, Wife sole, Joint with spouse, Joint with third party, Tenants in common, etc.)
 
Current Value
 
Real Estate (Include type of property e.g., residential, agricultural, commercial, or manufacturing.)
 
Personal Residence
 
 
 
 
Vacant Land
 
 
 
 
Other
 
 
 
Liquid Assets (Include account number and address where held.)
 
Cash on Hand
 
 
 
 
Government and Publicly Traded Securities
 
 
 
 
Unlisted Securities (Not Publicly Traded)
 
 
 
 
Money Market Accounts
 
 
 
 
Equity in Business
 
 
 
 
Notes and Loans Receivable
 
 
 
 
Checking Accounts