Hello everyone. This is Robert Mansour and today I'm going to make a brief video about how to fill out the estate planning questionnaire and how to go about doing that. So if you go to my website, which is mansourlaw.com, and you click on the button that says "Get Started" at the very top, you will see that it takes you to our "Get Started" page where there is a brief video there. Then you're going to find three steps. Number one - you make an appointment with my office to make sure that we can help you. Step number two is to choose the applicable questionnaire below and that's what we're going to focus on today. You will notice you have three options here - single client, couples and post death. So basically what we're focusing on here today is the questionnaires for single people as well as couples with special focus on couples.
Now you'll notice under each one you have the ability to fill out our secure online form or a printable form. The printable form is obviously just a PDF that you can print out, fill out by hand and send to our office. You can fax it, email it, or just mail it to us. We only ask that you do so and get us all the information a few days before our meeting so I have time to review it. And with the couples is the same thing. You get the secure online form as well as the printable form. Now if you click on the secure online form, it will take you to the questionnaire, which is right here. So I'd like to spend some time reviewing this questionnaire so you can kind of see what it's like to fill out the questionnaire before you have your estate planning meeting.
So at the very beginning you'll see some general instructions. Don't worry if you don't have all the answers to everything. Also, at the very bottom of the form, you will find a place where you can save your work and it will give you a link that you can pick up where you left off. It mails you a link to your email here. It's going to ask you for the date of your consultation, how you learned about my office, spouse number one (usually the person filling out the form), how you want your name to appear in the documents, spouse number two, how you want your name to appear in the documents as well. Basic contact information, mailing address, etc. Let's go to the next page. Now here it asks if either of you have been divorced. If the answer is yes, you click here.
If there's anything in particular that affects your plan, you would indicate so otherwise you can put "No." If you have any prior documents, we'd like to know about those and please send them to our office well before the meeting so I have time to review them. Let's go to the next page. The next section talks about the beneficiaries of your living trust. Who is going to be the beneficiaries of your estate? Here is where you indicate all of that. Now here you can indicate if you have any children from previous relationships. If you click "Yes," it will ask you about that. Otherwise, you just leave it as "No." Do you have any common children? Once again, if you click "yes," you can list the names of the children and the birth date and you can add as many children as you need to add.
Also you would indicate here if you don't want your estate to distribute equally among your children. You can indicate here where you want your estate to go. Also if there will be any distributions upon the first death, how you want your beneficiaries to inherit from you? Anything specific that we need to know? Also important - how much control should the surviving spouse have? So after one person dies, does the other person have full discretion to make changes to the living trust? That is an important issue. Let's go to the next page. On this page, you're going to list who your successor trustees are. These are the people who are going to manage your living trust if you can no longer do so yourself and you can indicate the individual's name and add successor trustees by clicking on this button.
Usually we like people to have about two or three people in line just in case. The executors are the people in charge of your will. The will is a backup to your living trust. If you have a living trust, your will is going to serve as a backup. And then if you have any minor children, you would indicate right here. That is because you may want to indicate who the guardians are of those minor children. If you and your spouse can no longer be parents to those kids, who do you nominate to be the guardians of those kids? Otherwise you leave that as "No." Let's go to the next page. Here is your chance to indicate who the health care agents are going to be.
So part of your estate plan is to indicate who your agents for health care are going to be. And these are not just people who "pull the plug." These people are your advocates - the people who healthcare professionals need to talk to - the people who have access to medical records and each spouse can name however many agents they want, in the order that they want. Usually the spouse is first in line followed by those that you indicate here. And of course, here you can indicate whether you would prefer that your life be prolonged as much as possible or whether you don't want your life to be prolonged on machinery, etc. If you have any preference - cremation, burial, or if you're unsure, you would indicate that.
And any other special health care instructions you might have. Another part of the estate plan is something called "power of attorney" - where you list someone to make decisions for you if you cannot make them yourself. Now these are non-healthcare matters, and there's a lot of things in the world that people might need to help you with that don't have anything to do with health care. And here, spouse number one can indicate who his or her agents are going to be. And spouse number two - again - backups beyond your own spouse. Usually your spouse is number one in line.
Let's go to the next page here. Now this last page is going to deal primarily with assets that you have, which helps me give you tips about how to title your assets. So the first part here is if you have any real estate. If you say "Yes," then you will have the opportunity to list your real estate right there and add property if you need to do so.
Assets include bank accounts, credit unions, investment accounts, stocks, mutual funds, things like that - life insurance policies, retirement accounts. If you have any business interests of any sort, any other additional assets like annuities, savings accounts, savings bonds, things like that. Time shares. And if you click "Yes," you will have the opportunity to list those here. I'd like to know a little bit about your primary reasons or goals for creating your estate plan. That way, I can tailor our meeting to those goals and any additional information you would like to add. You can add that here and you actually can upload documents to attach to your questionnaire as well. Once everything looks good, you will be able to submit your questionnaire by clicking on the bottom here. Now, a copy of all your responses will be sent to the email that you provided at the very beginning of the questionnaire. Thank you so much. I hope you found this overview of the estate planning questionnaire to be very helpful. Again, my name is Robert Mansour, and I thank you very much for taking the time to watch this video.