The most important step in the estate planning process is the formulation of a family estate plan and the preparation of the documents to carry out that plan. The estate plan sets forth a family’s wishes concerning the disposition of the family wealth, the selection of individuals to carry out the plan and the selection of persons to care for, and be in charge of minors, who lose their parents.
Typical estate planning documents include wills, financial powers of attorney, health care powers of attorney, living wills, and perhaps, funeral directives. For many families, trust instruments are also important tools in putting together an estate plan and protecting the beneficiaries.
The process of document preparation can be made very efficient by using questionnaires, emails and phone conferences, followed by a client meeting to review and sign the final product. However, client meetings can be arranged at any time during the document preparation process.