When preparing an Estate Plan, the first major decision is whether it will be a Will-based Plan or a Trust-based Plan. The documents differ slightly, and in most cases, we recommend that folks create Living Trust Estate Plans. In this video, I will take you through the documents that we typically include in a Living Trust Estate Plan.
- The first and probably most important document is the Revocable Living Trust. This document helps you avoid probate for the transfer of assets upon your death as well as set up incapacity planning, appointing people to act for you if you lose the ability to do so.
- In addition to the Revocable Living Trust, an Estate Plan includes a Pour-over Will. The Pour-over Will acts as a backup plan to your trust. In the event that you have forgotten to transfer assets to your trust during your life, the Pour-over Will makes sure that those assets get transferred after your death. However, that does happen through the probate court, so it is not an ideal mechanism. Also, the Pour-over Will is where you would appoint guardians for your minor children if you have minor children.
- The next document that is included in the Estate Plan is a Durable Power of Attorney. This is a document that allows you to appoint financial decision-makers to act on your behalf should you lose the ability to do so.
- The next major document is an Advance Healthcare Directive, this is a medical power of attorney where you appoint people to make decisions for you when you are unable to make them yourself and you are also able to designate whether you’d like to end life, prolong life, donate organs, have cremation and various other matters.
- Included with the Advance Healthcare Directive is the HIPAA Authorization Form which authorizes the agents that you name in your directive to receive and disclose your private healthcare information.