People often talk about estate planning. We even hear about it on the news, especially if someone’s plans have gone wrong. But what does the term really mean? What kinds of documents might make up the complete estate planning package?
Last Will & Testament
We usually just say “Will” when talking about someone’s Last Will and Testament, but did you know there are several kinds of Wills?
- A general Will spells out how you want your possessions to be distributed after your death.
- Sometimes a Pour-over Will is used to add assets to your trust after you’ve passed on.
- A Living Will is one way to tell people how to handle your final medical treatments.
- An Ethical Will is a thoughtful letter, or as we do at Keystone, a Legacy Recording, to your family telling them about important events and people in your life, religious beliefs, family history, life lessons based on your experiences and so on.
Powers Of Attorney
- People use a Durable Power of Attorney to designate someone to handle their financial affairs. A Power of Attorney can take effect immediately or only after a person is unable to make their own decisions.
- The Health Care Power of Attorney allows you to name who can make medical decisions for you if you are unable to do so.
- A Mental Health Care Power of Attorney covers mental health care issues not included in a general health care power of attorney.
Revocable Living Trust
A Revocable Living Trust transfers some or all of your assets to a trust. As trustee, you still control the assets until your death, when those assets then pass to beneficiaries named in the trust. An Arizona lawyer with estate planning experience can let you know if you are eligible for a living trust.
Document Checklist Related To Assets
- The term “digital assets” can be defined as “digitally stored content or an online account owned by an individual.” A Guide to Digital Assets gives your personal representatives a list of your online accounts and memberships, allowing them to access them after your death if necessary.
- An Inventory of Assets provides a clear and detailed list of your property, so your executors and beneficiaries can quickly locate everything needed to settle your estate.
- You can use a HIPAA Authorization to tell your medical provides who is allowed access to your medical information.
- Completing an After Death Checklist gives your family a list of all the things that need to be done after someone dies.
- A list of Memorial Instructions enables your family and friends to give you the funeral or memorial you feel is appropriate.
- Finally, use the Arizona Advance Directive Registry to store your Health Care Power of Attorney, Mental Health Care Power of Attorney, and Living Will. Family and medical providers will have easy access to these important documents. At Keystone, we file your documents on your behalf when you get your plan done with us.
At Keystone Law, we use our estate planning experience to help clients like you decide which documents to include in your personal estate plan. Call us at (480) 418-8448 and check out some of our free seminars. We offer services for clients throughout Arizona, including Chandler, Gilbert, Sun Lakes, Tempe, Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale, and Apache Junction.