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Estate Planning Essentials

While there are dozens of techniques available to an estate planning attorney, a substantial number of simple estates need only a few pieces to create a comprehensive estate plan that will protect the individual and his or her family in the event of some unforeseen life event or untimely death. With that said, these simple tools also form the foundation of any comprehensive complex estate plan. So, whether you are a 28 year old newlywed or an 80 year old retiree, there are five items that are essential to give you a basic level of asset and disability planning.

This list is taken from my consumer information packet, Estate Planning 101; Tools, Techniques and Frequently Asked Questions.

BASIC DOCUMENTS THAT SHOULD BE PART OF EVERY PLAN

Last Will and Testament

Living Will

Durable Power of Attorney For Healthcare

Durable Power of Attorney For Finances and Property

Direction For Final Disposition

ADDITIONAL CONSIDERATIONS FOR EVERY PLAN

Review and Update Insurance Beneficiaries Review and Update Beneficiary Designations for IRA, 401(k) and Other Retirement Accounts

List Financial Accounts

List the Location of Important Titles and Records

List Digital Assets, Account Names, Log-In Credentials and Passwords

Provide a Trusted Family Member or Friend With the Location of All Estate Planning Documents

Closely Held Business Planning

ADDITIONAL DOCUMENTS THAT MAY BE INCLUDED IN YOUR PLAN

Revocable Living Trusts

Irrevocable Trusts

Trusts For Minor Beneficiaries

Charitable Gifts

Other Gifts to Friends and Loved Ones

Educational Savings Accounts