Estate Planning Essentials
Estate issues are extremely important to your family should you pass away or become unable to function as you do today. To make sure your family is better prepared, take a look at the following checklist. If there are items you cannot check, you may want to consider contacting an estate planning attorney right away.
Account Registration – Are your accounts registered properly with the correct persons on the account? If you have a living trust, have your accounts been registered in the name of the trust?
Beneficiary Designation – Are the beneficiaries named on your accounts still the correct beneficiaries? Are these beneficiary designations consistent with your overall estate plan?
Health Care Directive/Living Will – Do you have specific wishes regarding the administration of life-prolonging procedures? This document can convey your wishes when you are no longer able to communicate them.
Durable Power of Attorney (General and Healthcare) – Have you named someone to make financial and healthcare decisions on your behalf, should you become incapacitated? A Durable Power of Attorney is an important document that allows you to name this individual. It is even more imperative to those who do not have, nor wish to set up, a living trust.
Will – Do you have a last will and testament? At a minimum, you need to have a will to insure that your assets transfer in the manner that you would prefer them to transfer.
Trust – Are you concerned about estate taxes, avoiding probate, controlling the transfer of assets to heirs, leaving assets to children, protecting assets during incapacitation or eventually needing assistance with money management and paying bills? If so, consider setting up a trust.
Your ShindelRock tax professional can recommend an estate planning attorney if you do not already have one, and we can also work with your attorney to help determine which of these items would be appropriate for your situation.