It is no secret that estate planning can be stressful. Thinking about the future can be a daunting task. Additionally, there are numerous documents to create and decisions to make. However, knowing what to expect can make the process easier. Read on for an estate planning overview.
What documents should I access?
When beginning the estate planning process, it can be helpful to gather the documents that are relevant to your situation:
- Your financial statements, including checking, savings, money market, brokerage, pension, IRA, etc.
- Your most recent bank, investment, and retirement account statements
- The deed to your house
- Your previous estate planning documents, if you have any
- Prenuptial or postnuptial agreements
- Divorce agreements
- Business agreements.
- Copies of your retirement plan
- Copies of your life insurance policy
- Contact information of your doctors
- Contact information for family members
- An unofficial list of the people you may want to list as trustees, executors, health care agents, etc.
- A list of your estate planning goals
- A list of any questions you have for your estate planning attorney
What will my estate plan include?
Everyone’s estate plan will look different. However, there are a few general documents that will be found in most estate plans:
- A will
- This is one of the most important legal documents you can create. A will allows you to determine how your assets should be divided amongst your loved ones in the event of your passing.
- Trusts are another great way to distribute assets to your loved ones. You can create special needs trusts, pet trusts, charitable trusts, and more. There are certain assets that should be left out of a will and instead included in a trust. For example, leaving assets in your will to a loved one with special needs can actually disqualify him or her from important government benefits.
- A power of attorney
- This document allows you to choose a person and allow him or her to legally act on your behalf in the event that you are unable to do so. This may involve handling your finances, signing legal documents on your behalf, and more.
- An advance healthcare directive
- This document allows you to make requests regarding your end-of-life care. Having this in writing is incredibly important.
Our firm is here to ensure that you have a cohesive and comprehensive estate plan. Reach out today to begin the process.
Contact our Firm
Working with an experienced estate planning attorney, such as Jaci Feldman of the Woodland Hills, California, Law Offices of Yacoba Ann Feldman, will ensure that you are taken care of when you need it most. Do not delay. Estate planning is a more urgent matter than you may think. You never know what the future holds. Contact The Law Offices of Yacoba Ann Feldman to schedule a consultation today.