There are several different components to a comprehensive estate plan. These include a proper and up to date Will, Living Will, and Powers of Attorney. These documents should be reviewed on a regular basis. Included often times are Trusts and Living Trusts. All of these documents are designed to protect you and your estate or beneficiaries. While there are “do ityourself” kits you can purchase, having an attorney experienced in Estate Law is the best way to protect yourself.
In addition to the necessary legal documents, there are many financial documents and policies that are also advised. For instance, having the proper amount and type of Life Insurance can save you tremendously in taxes. Did you also know that as a general rule of thumb, a Life Insurance policy supersedes a Will? You may spell out who gets what in your Will but the insurance company pays the beneficiaries who are listed in the policy. Make sure that the beneficiaries are designated properly and up to date. It is best to talk with both your attorney and Life Insurance representative about these.
Even if you don’t think you have anything of value, it is always prudent to have all the recommended legal documents in place. If you are married, many states require separate documents for both husband and wife.
Make sure that your adult children have their documents in place as well. If a child has recently turned 18 and they are in an accident, you may not be able to make medical decisions without Medical Power of Attorney.
If you have had any major life events in the past year, have the documents reviewed and updated. Events like moving from one state to another, divorce, marriage or a child reaching the age of 18 are all flags to signal you need to do an update.
One of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to have your Will prepared is to utilize the free Will provided through LegalShield. They will also give you a free Living Will and Medical directive as part of your monthly membership.
Contacts are available for more detailed estate planning needs.
Disclaimer: This is not intended as legal advice in any way.
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