Are you worried about what will happen to your loved ones and your assets when you pass? Do you want to make sure your survivors have peace of mind knowing that you properly planned for the future?
The loss of a loved one is difficult enough on a personal level. The last thing a loved one wants to do is navigate the lengthy and costly world of probate court.
Estate planning is a process you control. Please see below for a summary of documents I recommend for almost all of my clients.
Revocable Living Trust
- A document that allows your beneficiaries to avoid probate court, which can be both expensive and time-consuming.
- You choose the “successor trustee”, the person (or persons) you designate to be in charge of dispersing your assets among your beneficiaries.
- Can be amended or revoked.
- We transfer real property (e.g., your home), personal property (e.g., household belongings), and many of your bank, securities, and retirement accounts into the trust’s name.
- We create the deed (or deeds) to transfer property (or properties) from your name as an individual to your trust’s name.
- Essentially, a “catch all” document that works with the living trust to ensure that all assets have been moved to the trust.
- Basically states, “Anything I accidentally left out of my trust, I leave to my trust.”
Durable Power of Attorney
- A document that is important while you are living, but incapacitated (meaning, you cannot make decisions for yourself).
- Applies to financial matters: Specifies who you appoint to make financial decisions on your behalf and what powers that person will have (e.g., power to sign checks, etc.).
Advanced Health Care Directive
- Another document that is important while you are living, but incapacitated.
- Applies to healthcare matters: Specifies who you appoint to make healthcare decisions on your behalf and what powers that person has (e.g., remaining or not remaining on life support, donating organs, etc.).