Estate planning is the term used to describe planning for the possibility of future cognitive and/or physical incapacity, a long- term care need, and death. It is a general term, but each individual estate plan is as unique as the person for whom it is being prepared. There are, however, certain essential estate planning tools that should be a part of every person’s estate plan.
The Financial Power of Attorney and Health Care Power of Attorney and/or Living Will are essential to ensuring that financial and medical decisions can continue to be made during your lifetime, if you become incapacitated.
An estate can be prepared in a way that allows you to protect your home and life savings from current or possible future nursing home costs through the use of estate planning tools such as trusts and special types of annuities.
The Last Will and Testament allows you to memorialize, in writing, your wishes for after death to ensure that your assets pass to your spouse, children, and other loved ones upon death. Beneficiary Designated assets such as life insurance, IRAs, and annuities, as well as jointly-owned assets should also be reviewed to ensure that all of your assets pass to your loved ones pursuant to your wishes.
ESTATE PLANNING CHECKLIST
Does your Estate Plan address the following:
- Financial Decision Making
– Financial Power of Attorney
- Health Care and End of Life Decision Making
– Health Care Power of Attorney
- Long Term Care Planning
– Irrevocable Grantor Trust
– Last Will and Testament
- Beneficiary Designations
– Life Insurance
– Qualified Retirement Plans
- Jointly Owned Assets
– Bank Accounts
– Real Estate