- A Living Will and Durable Power of Attorney are essential parts of any Estate Plan
- Keep all important documents in a safe place (safety deposit box or a fireproof box)
- Give a copy of your Living Will and Durable Power of Attorney to a trusted loved one
- What’s on your computer? Who, besides you, can access that information?
– Ensure a trusted loved one has access to your passwords and PINS
– Indicate, in writing, what you want done with your social media accounts
- Keep copies of bills from all creditors, utilities, insurance companies, etc. Place this information in the same place as your other important documents.
- Make a copy of life insurance, retirement account, IRA’s, bank accounts, annuities
- Inventory your household assets and attach a list of specific gifts to your will
- Check the beneficiary designation of all of your life insurance policies, retirement accounts, investment accounts, annuities, etc. Make sure those designations are up to date, especially if you have gotten divorced or your spouse is predeceased.
– Note: You should avoid “to my estate” as a beneficiary designation, as this may make these assets subject to probate.
– Check on the type of asset because some contracts, like the ones listed above may be “non-probate” assets, meaning that they are not subject to the probate process
- Make arrangements for your pets.
- Preplan your funeral and burial/cremation.
- Always keep an eye on the estate tax exemption. It is now part of the tax code, but with our government, you can never predict what will happen!
Who can benefit from an estate plan?
- Blended families
- Adoptive parents
- Parents of minor children who need to name guardians
- Parents who fear their children won’t manage their inheritance properly
- Anyone who wants to reduce estate taxes
- Individuals who want to maintain privacy over their financial affairs
- Those who want to spell out their health wishes