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Getting an accurate picture of your financial situation is the first step in preparing to write a Last Will and Testament or California Estate Plan. Before you visit a California estate planning attorney, make sure you have your financial papers in order and have thought about some basic questions.

You will need basic account information for all of your assets, including a list of the current beneficiaries for each account. Assets include investments, insurance policies, retirement income, real estate, and business assets.

The first basic question to ask yourself before meeting with your Estate Planning Attorney is “Who do I want to inherit my assets?” Especially if you share assets with a spouse or partner, it is valuable to have this discussion before you spend valuable time with your attorney. You may be surprised at what the other person has in mind; he or she may want to leave a percentage of the estate to their alma mater or another family member.

The next question to ask is, “When do you want your heirs to receive the money?” The answer will be different for each asset, and this is a question your attorney will help you decide based on your individual circumstances.

You should also consider who you want to take care of your minor children in the event of your untimely death, and who you would like to be your healthcare power of attorney (also known as a healthcare surrogate).

Once you have considered these basic questions, you will be ready to meet your Irvine estate planning attorney and put your plan into action.

The Flanigan Law Group provides Southern California residents with personal attention for estate planning, administration and litigation legal services. When disputes between families, arise, they are very successful in resolving legal estate issues quickly and efficiently while preserving financial and emotional resources. Contact the Flanigan Law Group at 949-450-0042.