Generally, there is no legal requirement that you and your spouse prepare estate planning documents at the same time. However, depending on the individual estate planning goals of you and your spouse it may make practical sense to have the documents drawn up at the same time to ensure the overall goals of you and your spouse are achieved by whatever estate planning documents are drafted.
In order to advise you on what estate planning documents to prepare and when to prepare them, an attorney will need to know information about your family, your assets, your wishes regarding the distribution of your estate. etc.
Ultimately I would advise that you contact and estate planning attorney in your area to discuss your family, your assets and your estate planning goals to ensure that the correct documents and other proper steps are taken to achieve your goals.
Please feel free to contact my office if you have any questions.
Scott Nichol is licensed only in the State of Michigan. All answers provided relate only to Michigan law and are made for general information purposes ONLY. They are NOT intended to be legal advice and are NOT intended to create an attorney-client relationship between Mr. Nichol and any readers or subscribers to avvo.com. Scott Nichol Attorney at Moody & Nichol, PLLC East Lansing, MI (517) 583-0520
It is not entirely clear what you are asking and what your concern is. I have had a number of clients sign their documents at different times. If one spouse is free on Monday and the other spouse cannot come in until Friday, that is not a problem. It does create potential issues in terms of funding the trusts, to make sure that dates are correctly set forth. But for the most part, this can be done.
If you are asking whether one spouse can do their estate planning separate and apart from the other spouse, this can also be done. It is less than ideal, because if the spouse who has done the planning is the first to go, then the assets will again be at risk, and the other spouse would need to do something right away to take care of things. That might be problematic, if the second spouse is incapacitated, at that point. Again...I am not sure if this is your situation, or you simply have documents that need to be signed at a different day or time.
*** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and Ingham Counties. My practice is focused in the areas of estate planning and probate administration. I am ethically required to state that the above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. These responses should be considered general legal education and are intended to provide general information about the question asked. Frequently, the question does not include important facts that, if known, could significantly change the answer. Information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in your state. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state. If I refer to your state's laws, you should not rely on what I say; I just did a quick Internet search and found something that looked relevant that I hoped you would find helpful. You should verify and confirm any information provided with an attorney licensed in your state.
I agree with Attorney Frederick-They can be done at separate times and do not have to be identical.
The answer given does not imply that an attorney-client relationship has been established and your best course of action is to have legal representation in this matter.