Estate Planning Documents To Organize NOW
Time can easily get away from you with the hustle and bustle of daily routines, balancing your own work and personal needs along with family. You set priorities to manage the most important tasks, putting others aside for another date. Unfortunately, far too many people put estate planning in this “save for another time” category. The results can be devastating, as some do not realize the full extent of what they can do with estate planning. The basic definition of estate planning is making arrangements for the disposition and management of a person’s assets at death or incapacity, through use of a will, trust, insurance, and other documents.
Therefore, the key is creating and organizing the various documents that are part of your unique estate plan. You have to assume your loved ones will not have your input, so you will need to guide them in putting your plan into effect. With help from a Dade City estate planning lawyer, there are a few documents you should address now.
Trust: A trust can be revocable or irrevocable and is often used to protect your assets for the benefit of yourself or your heirs. Within the trust you can set forth your instructions on how your assets are treated.
Last Will and Testament: The cornerstone of your estate planning after death is your will, in which you name an executor to carry out the instructions you include in the document. You will also provide details on distributions to beneficiaries. Note that a safe deposit box is NOT always the best place to store your will, since your loved ones may need a court order to access it.
Designation of Healthcare Surrogate: With this document, you appoint an agent to manage health care decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated. Make sure your named agent and successor have copies of the paperwork, because they will need to present the designation to communicate with your health care providers.
Living Will: This can either be a standalone document or included with provisions in your health care designation. A living will is how you express your wishes for end-of-life care if you are unable to communicate. It is wise to provide a copy to your primary care provider.
Durable Power of Attorney: You can also appoint an agent to manage your assets during your lifetime, if you are incapacitated. After creating a power of attorney, you should check with your banks, lenders, and other financial institutions to understand their policies when your agent presents it. Also, give a copy to your agent and successors.
Beneficiary Accounts: If you have bank accounts in which you designated a beneficiary, you should periodically review the details. Make sure the people you have named are aware of the account, because these are not assets that go through probate. A beneficiary will need a death certificate and ID to access the funds.
Consult with a Pasco County Estate Planning Attorney Today
To learn more about organizing your estate plan, please contact The Law Office of Laurie R. Chane in Dade City, FL. You can set up a consultation by calling 352-567-0055 or visiting our website. After learning more about your objectives, a Florida estate planning lawyer can help you get started on the relevant documents.