Estate Planning is a topic that many people sometimes avoid or wait until the last minute to handle. The importance of organizing one’ s personal and financial affairs can’t be stressed enough. To have a systematic approach in place in case of a unexpected physical and/or mental incapacity or death occurrence is valuable during a very difficult and trying time for one’s family.

Basic Estate Planning Documents

There are a number of documents that can come into play in estate planning.

  • A Revocable Living Trust
  • A Pour Over Will
  • Advance Medical Directive
  • HIPPA Waiver
  • Financial Power of Attorney.

Revocable Living Trust will contain a detailed set of instructions covering three important periods of your life. The first being what happens while you are alive and well. Second being what happens if you become incapacitated. And third being what happens after your death. Assets held in the name of your Revocable Living Trust at the time of your death will avoid probate.

Pour Over Will is a special type of Last Will and Testament, used only with a Revocable Living Trust. The Pour Over Will states that any of our property that has not  been funded into your Revocable Living Trust prior to your death will be funded into the trust after you die. If any of your property isn’t funded into your trust before you die, then the unfunded property will need to be probated through the use of your Pour Over Will.

An Advance Medical Directive allows one to designate a health care agent to make medical decisions for you, if you are able to make them for yourself.

Durable Financial Power of Attorney. A Durable Financial Power of Attorney allows one to delegate to the person of your choice the ability to manage assets that are titled in your individual name, including retirement plans, and assets titled in joint names as tenants is common.

For more  detailed information on this these types of document,  please read my blog on Power of Attorney.

A  portion of this excerpt has been taken from Craig M. Scalise Estate Planning Attorney whom can be reached at 1-805-443-6800.