Estate Planning Checklist

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When estate planning, a good checklist can help you get the most for your loved ones. Try an estate planning checklist from an estate planning and probate lawyer in this free video on estate law.

Part of the Video Series: Estate Planning
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Video Transcript

So how about an estate planning checklist. What should somebody have if they're considering going to an attorney and getting their estate planned? Whatever that means. Well what it means is we want to make sure a couple of things are for sure in place, and some of the things you may want to put in place. The things you want to make sure you've got in place are things that are going to affect you directly. First, that's going to be something called an advance directive. At least that's what it's called in some states. In other states it may be called a medical power of attorney or a living will. You want to make sure the health care stuff is covered, and covered very well. You want to make sure that if you are unable to make medical decisions for yourself, you've got somebody in place that can make those decisions for you, and, frankly, if it comes down to a situation where the plug needs to be pulled on you. Which, we hope it doesn't, but it might. We want to make sure we've got proper legal authority for the people you love and trust to pull the plug whenever you have preselected that it should be pulled. Another thing we can do is provide you with a HIPPA release. A HIPPA release is a health privacy release that allows your doctors to actually talk to your family. So first and foremost we want to take care of health care. Then we want to take care of your money. Two things there too. First, in the even of an incapacity, we want to make sure we have a financial power of attorney. We may want to do a living trust, which in certain situations could be better than a financial power of attorney. But both of these documents are designed to allow somebody to manage your money if you're unable to manage it yourself. Then when you pass away, we want to either have a will or that same revocable living trust in place, to make sure the assets that you've got go to your family the way that we want to. You can incorporate other things into an estate plan--a lot of other things into an estate plan, but making sure you have these very basic documents will go a long way to making sure that you're okay, and your families okay.

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