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The Ultimate Checklist to Plan Your Estate

Estate planning is not something most of us want to do. Planning what will happen after we are gone reminds us that we will not be around forever. But it’s important to make these decisions now so that your family is prepared. Start your estate planning as soon as possible so you can protect your family from any obstacles that may be encountered along the way.

While many people assume estate planning is complicated, it does not have to be an onerous process. Use this handy checklist to help you and your family know what documents you may want to consider. Not everyone will need all of these items, but this list is a great place to start when discussing your estate with your Kelly & West attorney.

The policies and documents you may need include the following:Chris Potter

  • Will

Who is going to inherit your property? Who will be named guardian of young children? How will your estate be divided among family members? A Will states your answers for all of these questions and more.

  • Trust

Trust can help you make decisions that go into effect before your death and avoid administering your estate with the court after you die. It explains in detail, how and when assets pass from the trustee to the beneficiaries. It simplifies the process for your family and provides extra protection for you and your loved ones.

  • General (Financial) Power of Attorney

This document gives an agent the power to act on your behalf, either now or when you become incompetent.  This document can be durable and last through incompetency or it can spring into effect only if you become incompetent.

  • Health Care Power of Attorney

This document grants your agent the power to make medical decisions on your behalf. Who your doctor will be, what treatments you will receive, and what hospital you will use, are just a few examples of the powers your health care attorney can have.

  • Living Will

A living will has no power after your death. It does, however, state your wishes regarding life support and feeding through tubes should you have no chance of recovery. Living wills are especially important for cases where you become unable to communicate your wishes.

  • Limited Power of Attorney

A document providing specific powers that an attorney may have. Selling property, collecting debts, and other financial transactions are some of the common uses of a Limited Power of Attorney.

Make sure you keep all of these documents and policies organized so you will be prepared for anything. Start planning today so your family members have a better tomorrow.

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