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
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
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
Other Gifts to Friends and Loved Ones