When a Sacramento resident takes their first steps toward preparing a personal estate plan they may be eager to get all of their ideas down on paper and to ensure their loved ones receive the bulk of their wealth when they pass on. While the drafting of estate planning documents is a critical component in the process, it can be very helpful to both individuals who desire to create estate plans and their estate planning attorneys to begin inventorying important information before document drafting begins.
First, an estate planner may want to collect the names and contact information for all of the parties who may be named in their estate planning documents. This can include current and former spouses, children from all marriages and relationships, individuals who may serve as guardians to the estate planner's minor children and all other parties who may have responsibilities or be beneficiaries under the estate plan.
Estate planners may also wish to find copies of prior estate planning tools that they have drafted and executed so that they can be sure those old documents are overwritten by the contents of their new estate plans if such action is desired. Multiple estate planning documents of the same type can introduce confusion into the probate process and create delays in the administration of a decedent's estate.
Finally, an estate planner may wish to amass a list of their assets and debts prior to making an estate plan. Making a comprehensive list of the items one owns and of the sums they are responsible for can help a planner make wise choices about where their wealth should go when they are no longer able to personally control it.
Attorneys who work in the estate planning field can help their clients locate these and other pieces of important estate planning information. They can also provide their clients with sound advice regarding the tools those planners may wish to utilize as the initiate the process of developing personal estate plans.