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Estate planning seems like a daunting task. It is human to want to procrastinate, especially when it involves thinking about a time when you will no longer be alive.
Everyone needs an estate plan, whether young or old, wealthy or poor, have children, or plan to be single for life. We have learned from the COVID-19 pandemic the need to prepare for the inevitabilities of life. Since nothing in life is guaranteed, you need to know how to protect your family and assets.
Having a list of essential documents for estate planning would make the job much easier.
Even better would be to have a list and then an estate planning attorney’s help. We have you covered in both cases.
We took the arduous task of estate planning and broke it down into eight subsections – each of which are captured and discussed in the checklist. Each subsection of the checklist has an easy-to-read overview and a series of questions outlining the documents needed to complete the estate planning process.
There are two types of trusts, revocable and irrevocable, each with its own advantages. Whether you want to avoid probate, have full control over managing and distributing your assets, maintain your privacy, or need liability protection, trusts may be the perfect answer.
High-value assets such as your home and business need protection. How you title your assets has both tax and estate planning implications.
Do you know what happens to your assets that do not have a designated beneficiary and are not titled in the name of a trust? They become part of your probate estate. You may have heard that probate is a public process that is time-consuming and expensive. Unfortunately, what you have heard is true.
Many people think a Will is all they need for estate planning. A Last Will and Testament is important, and everyone should have one (surprisingly, even those who have a trust for a particular reason), but did you know that Wills can be contested and don’t keep your estate from going through the probate process? A Last Will and Testament guarantees probate! Not knowing your full range of options to protect your assets and ensure they are distributed the way you intended may cost you and your heirs a fortune.
Did you know you could appoint someone to act on your behalf in financial matters for a day, under certain conditions, or permanently? The way your power of attorney is written determines how much power, when and under what circumstances, and over what aspects of your financial life you authorize someone to act on your behalf.
A healthcare power of attorney enables you to designate a person you trust to make healthcare decisions if you are mentally or physically unable to make decisions yourself.
The pandemic put a spotlight on healthcare decision making. An Advance Medical Directive/Living Will allows you to make clear your preferences on life-prolonging medical treatments.
You undoubtedly have banking and retirement accounts, online bill paying, and social media accounts. Does your estate plan include these accounts?
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