For many individuals, thinking about starting the process of estate planning can be difficult and even intimidating. No one wants to worry about their loved ones not being taken care of when they pass or their final wishes not being carried out fully. Trying to determine how your assets should be distributed is not something that you should have to figure out on your own. With the right estate planning attorney and a solid estate plan, you won’t have to stress about the future.
However, finding the right estate planning attorney for your needs is essential, and you should be prepared to ask the following questions before choosing a professional to work with.
1. Is your primary focus on estate planning?
If the answer to this question is “no,” then you should consider reaching out to another practice. The goal of meeting with potential attorneys is to determine whether or not they have the experience and expertise needed to help you with your needs. By choosing an attorney who solely focuses on estate planning, you are setting yourself and your assets up for better success in the estate planning process.
2. What is included in an estate plan?
This question may seem broad, but it is important to understand what exactly will be included in your potential estate plan. There are five main components of estate planning that you should make sure are included: a last will and testament, a living will, a living trust, a durable power of attorney, and a healthcare power of attorney. Additionally, if you have young children, you may also want to ask about documents such as a guardianship provision or a minor’s trust to protect money for your children until they are of age. It would help if you also informed your attorney of any other assets such as businesses, real estate, or other items of value that may require other types of trusts. A skilled estate planning attorney should be able to take this information and customize an estate plan to meet all of your specific needs.
3. How can I make sure my plan stays up-to-date?
After your plan is created, it does not just stay the same forever. Your plan must grow along with your assets and life. So how will your attorney ensure that your plan remains up-to-date? Is it up to you to contact your attorney when changes need to be made, or does your attorney have a set timeline to make sure that your plan stays current? Estate planning is not a one-time process, and your attorney should not handle it as such.
4. What sort of homework do you expect from me before our consultations?
Estate planning goes both ways; your estate planning attorney will also need information and help from you. It’s important to ask your attorney what information and documentation they will need from you to prepare your estate plan. This can include information about yourself, your loved ones, and your assets. Having this knowledge can help you and your attorney to be better prepared to start the process.
5. How will you communicate with me moving forward?
Choosing an attorney that prioritizes communication is key. You want an estate planning attorney who will proactively communicate with you at least every quarter. This will give you not only peace of mind, but also ensure that your plan stays updated and that any questions you may have can be answered easily. Ask them how they anticipate communicating with you, and how you can best contact them by phone or email. Your attorney should want you to feel comfortable coming to them for advice or with questions; they are there to help you during your estate planning process.
About Kye Giscombe
Outstanding management skills, an innovative mind, and an entrepreneurial spirit have propelled Kye Giscombe to top positions in a variety of business sectors, including law, real estate, construction, fitness, and retail manufacturing and operations. His career reflects nearly 20 years of executive-level management, marketing, business analysis, and investing experience, serving as a key decision-maker in existing corporate, start-up, entrepreneurial, and expansion environments.
Among the several successful companies he created over the past two decades are Cosmo Horizon Inc., a commercial construction management firm, and Contact Sports NYC, a sports apparel manufacturer. Giscombe attributes Contact Sports NYC’s success to collaboration with colleagues Frank Drohan and Irving Brothman, a top executive at Burlington Coat Factory.
Giscombe attributes his business success to his ability to analyze the viability of project ideas, design products and services that appeal to new growth niches, develop creative strategies to achieve goals, and implement processes that produce significant profitability and a loyal customer base. He relishes the challenge of creating new entrepreneurial enterprises and finds inspiration in planning projects he’s passionate about.
A resident of Alpharetta, Georgia, Kye Giscombe enjoys motorcycles, tennis, working out, reading, and traveling when he’s not concentrating on business.