What Do I Need to Bring to my Estate Administration Meeting?

There’s nothing wrong with not knowing what to bring when you meet with an attorney to discuss the probating your loved one’s estate.  After all you’re likely dealing with many things at the same time.  Grief, your loved ones estate, extra meetings, and managing all of your own affairs.  A skilled attorney and estate administration team can support you through each step of the process, but for those who don’t like to go too long without a plan, the following can give you some pointers of things to have prepared for your consult with your estate administration team.

The first thing to know about probate is that it’s not friendly to our rainforests – many trees suffer at the hands of probate. While our court systems work towards catching up with the future of communications, in the meantime, we’re still pushing paper for all of our solutions.

For this reason, we always ask that the following documents be made accessible to us at this time before all else:

  1. At least 5 death certificates
  2. Funeral invoice showing a zero-dollar balance owed or stamped “Paid in Full” – if not yet paid in full, please confirm with the attorney at your meeting
  3. Bills, outstanding invoices and statements for decedent – before and after date of death
  4. Uncashed checks or cash belonging to the decedent
  5. List of contacts and contacts’ information at financial institutions where decedent held assets
  6. List of contacts and contact’s information for creditors of the estate or the decedent, or invoices/bills/statements
  7. Decedent’s original Last Will and Testament and Codicils
  8. Decedent’s original Trust documents

The above documents plus any questionnaires you might have to complete to disclose financial and personal information related to the decedent will equip your attorney with the best advice you can receive at the initial meeting. In estate administration, there’s no such thing as too much information or paperwork. And the more information you can provide us with, the better we can answer your questions and get moving with a plan.