thorough planning means accounting for all of your assets and ensuring they transfer as smoothly as possible to the people or entities you wish to receive them. include all account numbers and list the location of any physical documents you have in your possession. the second copy should be given to your spouse (if you’re married) and placed in a safe deposit box. review each of these accounts to make sure the beneficiaries are current and listed exactly as you like.
your estate administrator or executor will be in charge of administering your will when you die. once your will is finalized, signed, witnessed, and notarized, you will want to make sure that your estate administrator gets a copy. and if it’s been a while, you may want to revisit your plan. you may want to set up 529 college savings plans for your grandchildren. “‘signing’ without signing what estate planners should know about the federal e-sign act and the texas uniform electronic transactions act,” pages 1-2, 7-9.
a will states who assumes ownership of your assets and belongings after you die. if you don’t write a will, your assets are distributed according to plans outlined in your state’s intestacy laws. this is the person who will make sure the terms of your will are carried out exactly as you want. a power of attorney document authorizes the person you choose to handle financial matters on your behalf if you are not able to. a financial power of attorney does not grant the authority to make medical decisions on your behalf. an advance care directive is a document that states what your wishes are for medical and end-of-life care should you be unable to make those decisions for yourself.
a living trust allows you to take assets you own and place them into the ownership of a trust you create during your lifetime. the trust owns your assets and manages them while you are alive. your estate saves the cost and time involved in a probate proceeding and instead distributes assets on its own, immediately, if that is what you wish. ensuring that you have these important documents for estate planning in place will allow you to fully prepare yourself and your family for whatever the future may hold. this checklist will help you understand and keep track of the important documents and elements you’ll need to consider. whether a living trust is better for you than a will depends on whether the additional options it provides are worth the cost. if you are moving to a new state, you surely have many thoughts and concerns on your mind, but don’t let your estate planning documents fall through the cracks.
15. complete other important documents. at a minimum, you should create a will, power of attorney, healthcare proxy, and a comprehensive estate plan includes four estate planning documents. these documents include a will, a financial power of attorney, find all the estate planning forms you need to create a complete estate plan in one digitally store and share your important estate planning documents., .
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