Preparing before you meet with an estate planning attorney can save you time, money, and, equally as important, help ensure your wishes are properly addressed. Preparing also allows you to get a better grasp of what your needs and goals are financially. Although the attorney should help you with ideas, meeting your wishes is the goal. As with most anything, the more thought you give it beforehand, the easier it will be.As an estate planning attorney, my job is to make sure your assets go where they need to go upon your death or incapacity and that they do so in a manner that is efficient and as cost effective as possible. Preparation really boils down to two issues: what is your “estate” and where do you want it to go upon your death?An estate consists of anything that could be considered either an asset or a liability you may own. This includes, among other things, joint interests in a home or business, bank accounts and investments, life insurance, and personal property. Useful information includes a rough estimation of net worth, a list of current beneficiaries, current obligations, current investments, and financial goals.Beneficiaries are equally as important. Do you want to give to charities? to children? Do you want equal divisions? Are you accounting for any assets your beneficiaries may be receiving as a result of a pay-on-death designation on a bank account? Having your goals in mind ahead of time goes a long way in saving time and money.If you have questions about estate planning or would like to meet with an attorney, please call at 320-763-3141 or contact us online.