If you aren’t sure what you need as part of a well put-together estate plan, our attorneys discuss these 5 estate planning must-haves when you are approaching your golden years.
- Updated Last Will and Testament. Everyone should have at least a basic Last Will and Testament in place. If you executed your Will years or even decades ago it is time to update it. The person you named as Executor may have predeceased you. You may also want to change how your estate assets are distributed or you may have created a trust to distribute many of your assets in the interim. The only way to be certain that the terms of your Will reflect your current wishes is to sit down with your estate planning attorney and review them.
- Updated trust agreement. Like most people, you may have initially relied solely on a Will to distribute your estate assets; however, that Will may no longer be sufficient. You may now need a trust to ensure that your assets are protected and the people you love are provided for when you are gone. If you have an existing trust agreement, now is the time to review it. You may want to modify your choice of Trustee, add or delete assets, or modify the terms of the trust relating to the distribution of assets.
- Living Will. This document allows you to express your wishes regarding medical treatment at the end of your life. If you do not want to be kept alive by artificial means, the best way to make sure that doesn’t happen is to execute a Living Will. With a Living Will in place, the doctors caring for you will be legally obligated to honor your wishes if you are incapacitated at the end of your life.
- Health Care Power of Attorney. This is another type of advanced directive that is usually executed along with a Living Will. This lets you decide who will make health care decisions for you if you cannot make them yourself. The terms of your Living Will still apply; however, if the requirements for your Living Will to activate have not yet been met, someone may need to make decisions for you. Executing a health care power of attorney is the only way to know with certainty who that person will be.
- Organized lists and estate planning documents. After you are gone, your Executor will need to probate your estate. To make his/her job easier, be sure to keep a current list of assets and debts and organize all your estate planning documents. A set of original documents should be given to your Executor and to your estate planning attorney. Do not forget to add copies of ancillary documents such as life insurance policies, titles and deeds, and a list of passwords for electronic accounts.
Contact Our Grand Forks Estate Planning Attorneys
Please join us for an upcoming FREE seminar. If you have additional questions or concerns about estate planning or need assistance with these 5 estate planning must-haves, contact our Grand Forks estate planning attorneys at German Law by calling 701-738-0060 to schedule an appointment.
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