How to prepare to meet with a Niagara Estate lawyer

Planning your estate

June 2, 2016

One of the most important ways that you can prepare for the end of your life is to ensure that you have established an estate plan. In order to control what happens to your assets and property at the end of your life, you must have a plan. An estate plan may encompass a number of documents including wills, powers of attorney, personal directives, and trusts. Planning your estate will allow you to determine how your assets will be transferred when you die and can help your loved ones avoid negative consequences upon your death.

When you meet with a St. Catharines estate lawyer, you will work together to decide which documents will need to be prepared in order to meet your wishes. To determine this, your estate planning lawyer will require you to provide documents that give information specific to your situation.

Bring the following documents with you:

  • Financial statements and a detailed list of assets and liabilities (bank accounts, mutual funds, pension plans, real estate, businesses, retirement plans, tangible personal property)
  • A list of assets, values, and ownerships
  • Your life insurance policies
  • Understanding and list of your liabilities
  • A list of individuals to be named in your will – executors, trustees, personal representatives
  • Choice of guardians for children under 18
  • Real estate deeds
  • Current wills or trusts

Determine your estate planning objectives

In order to understand the goals and the needs of your plan, you must determine your financial and personal objectives. Before the meeting, prepare answers to the following questions:

  • Who will be your estate beneficiaries?
  • How long do you intend to provide support for your immediate family?
  • What significant family assets need to be addressed?
  • Do you want to minimize income/probate taxes?
  • Will your beneficiaries receive their inheritance immediately or at a future date?
  • Do you want to leave a part of your estate to charity?
  • What impact will the decisions you make in your estate plan have on your family?

An estate planning attorney may create the following documents for you:

  • Wills
  • Codicils
  • Living Wills
  • Revocable and Irrevocable Trusts
  • Living Trusts
  • Life Insurance Trusts
  • Special Needs Trusts
  • Specialized Trust
  • Powers of Attorney (property and personal care)
  • Personal Directive
  • Guardianship

Consider your future goals and desires before you meet with your Niagara Estate lawyer. The more that you have thought through, the more informed your decisions will be. Ultimately, a properly prepared estate plan will ensure that the needs of your family are met.  


Chown Cairns professional group of Wills and Estates lawyers work with Niagara residents to establish succession planning documents that meet their objectives. Learn more about our estates and wills services by clicking here.

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