Estate planning can be complicated and is often best left to an estate attorney. However; it is extremely helpful to understand what estate planning is and how it works. there are several components to an Estate Plan and a good attorney will help you understand and select what’s best for you.
The primary goal of estate planning is to have all of your wishes met after you are unable to care for yourself or you are deceased. These wishes generally include; the division of your financial assets amongst family members, whether you want to be resuscitated or placed on life support, what kind of funeral arrangements you prefer and access to life insurance policies for the beneficiaries. There are many pieces to cover with estate planning and it is imperative not to forget anything, as any lack of information can cause great turmoil for loved ones later on.
This estate planning checklist is a helpful tool in the process.
- A Living Will
- A Will
- Medical directives, including; assigning a healthcare proxy, a DNR, whether or not you want to be on life support, etc.
- Power of Attorney
- Medical & Mental Power of Attorney
- Cover funeral costs
- Make your final wishes clear- burial, funeral arrangements, etc.
- Ensure the future of your minor children- make clear who is to care for them.
Make sure to keep the following documents in a fireproof safe, safe deposit box or with your Attorney. Be sure to notify a few close family members as to where the documents are.
- final arrangements instructions (i.e. funeral/calling hours, burial or cremation, etc.)
- insurance policies
- real estate deeds
- certificates for stocks, bonds, annuities
- information on bank accounts, mutual funds, and safe deposit boxes
- information on retirement plans, 401(k) accounts, or IRAs
- information on debts: credit cards, mortgages and loans, utilities, and unpaid taxes
Early and thorough preparation will help your survivors in the event of your death. None of us know when this planning will need to be used, so having your estate plan completed relieves the stress on you and your loved ones.
You can get more detailed information here, or call the Law Offices of Arnold N. Hirsch at 480-832-3000 for a consultation. With over 35 years of experience in Arizona law, we’ll be there to make sure your wishes are carried out and your future is secured.