Checklist To Discuss With Your Estate Planning Attorney
- Author Smith Clea
- Published February 21, 2020
- Word count 344
What is meant by the term "estate"? Your estate is all of the property that you own that you worked hard to acquire throughout your lifetime.
Depending on the size of your estate, without proper planning there could be a hefty tax bill that your family will burden after you pass away.
Will or Trust
A will or trust should be the primary area of discussion with your Attorney.Having a will alone is usually not enough because a will does not avoid probate.
A trust on the other hand, offers the same benefits of a will, but also allows your family to avoid the costly and lengthy probate process after you pass. The wording and structure of the will or trust document is critical. Therefore, you should discuss your plans in detail with your attorney.
Durable Power of Attorney
It is important to have a durable power of attorney drafted so that a person whom you assign will be able to act on your behalf, if you are unable.
Some of your assets can pass to your heirs without being clearly mentioned in the will. That is why it is important to have a beneficiary and a contingent beneficiary.
For example, certain insurance policies should have beneficiary and contingent beneficiaries appointed so that they can pass too outside of the will.
Letter of intent
It is a document left to your beneficiary. Its purpose is to decide what you want to do with a particular asset after your death or incapacitation.
Healthcare power of attorney
It designates another person generally spouse or a family member to make important health care decisions on your behalf in case of your incapacitation. For this reason, it is important to select someone you trust.
Some wills may or may not incorporate this clause. If you have a minor child. Then making a guardianship is very important and many times overlooked.
Designing a gifting strategy to reduce your taxable estate may be important based on your goals and should be discussed with your attorney.
Additionally, Hire an Estate Planning Attorneymay be able to help you develop a strategy to deal with taxes depending on the size of your estate.
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