Common Pieces of Information You Will Need to Have Ready for your Estate Administration Consultation
Below are the next steps that you can take to make your estate administration process go as smoothly, quickly, and painless as possible.
- Fill out the attorney’s intake questionnaire. The questionnaires are designed to help ask as many questions as possible upfront so that something isn’t overlooked later on and help the attorney get a general understanding of your family and financial situation so that your attorney can best advise you. Filling this out before your estate planning consultation will make the most efficient use of your time so that it does not eat into your time with the attorney.
- Gather your financial documents. Providing this information to your attorney upfront will help move things along faster. This will give the attorney a snapshot of what assets were in the decedent’s name at the time of his/her passing. Bringing a complete statement of the most recent bank and investment account statements and a statement from the date of the decedent’s passing to show who owned each account, account numbers and balances. This should be the monthly statement and not a printout of the transactions. Other financial documents to take with you to the consultation are: mortgage statements, appraisals, tax bills, vehicle titles, copies of stock information and any additional information you feel will be helpful with the process. The more information you supply, the smoother the qualification and opening of the estate.
- Bring copies of the decedent’s Last Will and Testament, Codicil documents and Trust documents, if applicable. The original Last Will and Testament and Codicil Documents would need to be located, but for the purposes of the consultation, a copy is sufficient. It is best if the documents are provided prior to the consultation for review. This will help the attorney review who all the beneficiaries are, how assets will be distributed as well as understand which option would be best for handling the decedent’s estate.
- Bring copies of the decedent’s Divorce, separation agreements, premarital agreements, and other relevant contracts. The estate plan should abide by the terms of any divorce, separation agreement, premarital agreement, or any other contract the decedent may have had signed promising to leave assets to someone in their will.
- Other documents to consider taking to make things go smoothing and help with the qualification and opening of the estate process are:
- A copy of the death certificate. An original death certificate would need to be filed with the courthouse, but for the purposes of the consultation a copy is sufficient.
- Funeral invoice showing a zero-dollar balance owed or stamped “Paid in Full” – if not yet paid in full, please confirm with the attorney at your meeting.
- Invoices and statements from creditors for decedent – 3 months before and after the date of death
- Copies of Uncashed checks or cash belonging to the decedent.
- A list of contacts and contacts’ information at financial institutions where decedent held assets.
If you have not already, contact NC Planning to schedule your estate administration consultation.