Essential Documents Every Estate Plan Should Have
Are you thinking it may be time to plan your estate? Some people make the mistake of thinking that if they set up a will, their affairs will be in order. But this is just not the case. The best approach is to create a comprehensive strategy so that all of your plans are completed and you don't have to worry about if things are taken care of.
Call our Boulder Valley attorneys to discuss your estate planning needs in a free initial consultation at (303) 800-1588.Experience Makes for the Best Planning
At Braverman Law Group, LLC, our estate planning lawyers have over 40 years of combined experience assisting people in making important future plans. Our Colorado law firm is different from other firms. We take the time to explain all of your options so you will have the confidence to move forward in making your estate plans.What Should an Estate Plan Include?
Every estate plan should include at least 10 documents:
- Healthcare power of attorney — No one will argue that it's difficult to think of getting older and needing someone else to make health decisions for them, but the worst thing to do would be to wait until you can't make those decisions for yourself. By planning for this eventuality now, you can have a say in what will happen to you and choose who makes your medical decisions.
- Living will – You can express your wishes are about life-saving measures and life support methods at end of life now before it’s too late.
- Financial power of attorney (POA) — This important designation should never be overlooked. The person assigned to be your power of attorney can assist you with handling your financial decisions such as paying bills when you are no longer able. Choosing someone who is trustworthy and makes sound decisions is critical.
- Revocable trust — This document is also sometimes called a living trust. This is a trust that you can change while you are still living. This document accounts for how you want your property to be distributed upon your death.
- Will — Your will ensures that your final wishes are documented legally and in writing. It is also where you designate who the executor will be. A will accounts for what will happen to your belongings, including assets and any property to be disbursed. You can also designate who will become the guardian for your children if something happens to you.
- Deed – For your revocable living trust to avoid probate, you need to transfer your assets to yourself as trustee. We will prepare a deed (or deeds if you multiple properties) to transfer your house to you as trustee.
- Assignment of personal property – Just like your house needs to be transferred, everything in it also needs to go into your trust along with your other tangible personal property like automobiles. When you sign your trust, you also sign this Assignment which makes that transfer in one step.
- Trust certification – You also need to transfer your bank accounts to yourself as trustee. The trust certification makes that easy so we include one in every trust plan.
- Personal property memorandum – Many people want to leave certain items to specific people. Maybe it’s an heirloom grandfather clock, art, or jewelry. But these wishes take shape over years not just when you’re planning your estate with us. So we give you a memorandum that you can fill in or update at any time with who should get what. It will be honored as if we had put it into your will or trust.
- Emergency medical wallet card – The most beautiful estate plan won’t do any good if it’s not available when it’s needed. We enroll you in a wallet card membership that holds your healthcare power of attorney, your HIPAA release, and your living will in a databank. They also keep the phone numbers and emails for your doctor and emergency contacts. If you put that wallet card next to your driver’s license, those documents will be faxed to the hospital when it’s necessary.
Attorneys Diedre and Bennett Braverman of Braverman Law Group, LLC, offer customized planning advice for your unique needs. Call their office in the Boulder Valley today at (303) 800-1588 to schedule a free consultation. You can also make your appointment online. Find out how our local attorneys can help you find peace of mind.