As we hope and wait for the eventual demise of COVID-19, it’s important to ensure that essential estate planning documents are current. This includes your will, revocable trust, advanced healthcare directives and your power of attorneys for health care and finance.
Here’s a checklist to make sure your estate plan is fully operational:
- Reviewing Assets: Have you reviewed your assets to make sure you have assigned them to your trust or made annual or lifetime gifts to avoid the high-cost of Probate and tied up in court proceedings?
- Advanced Health Care Directive: Have you determined end of life decisions and designated authorized agents to carry out your wishes should you become incapacitated?
- Durable Power of Attorney – Health Care: Have you selected an agent and back-ups to assist you with obtaining medical treatment, equipment and pharmaceuticals should you no longer have the capacity to do so?
- Durable Power of Attorney – Financial: Have you selected an agent and back-ups to assist you with handling the payment of bills, handling other financial transactions and collecting funds owed to you if you should no longer have the capacity to do so?
- Last Will and Testament: Have you designated an Executor and back-ups to handle the administrative responsibilities following your death including gathering assets, publishing a notice to creditors, pay your debts and taxes, and distribute your assets to your named beneficiaries directly or through your trust.
- Revocable Trust: Have you created a trust, including naming a Trustee and back-up Trustees, along with instructions of how you want to distribute your assets and to whom should receive your assets, including back-up beneficiaries?
- Beneficiary Designations – Retirement and Life Insurance: Have you reviewed your designations to make sure the beneficiaries you have designated and percentages they are to receive is still desired and, if so, whether their contact information is current?
- Funeral Instructions: Do you have particular wishes about your funeral plans or have they changed, and need to create a codicil for your Last Will & Testament?
- Guardianship: Do you have children under the age of majority (18) and need to designate their guardian (and back-ups) in case of your death?
The Mobile Law Center can assist you with the creation of an Estate Plan to cover all your needs or amend your current Estate Plan to represent the changes you desire. For a Free Consultation call 805-543-LAWS.