Four most common Estate Planning documents
The following are the most commonly used documents when creating an estate plan. It is important to review and discuss your goals and objectives with an attorney when developing your plan.
Revocable Living TrustThis instrument contains in-depth instructions for your care if you become disabled, and the care of your loved ones upon your death. It efficiently transfers your property to your loved ones at the time of your death, avoiding probate and allowing for the maximum use of estate tax exemptions.
Pour Over WillUpon your death, it leaves any property to your living trust that you did not put into it before your death. It functions as a safety net to make sure property you neglected to place in your trust can ultimately be managed by your Trustees pursuant to your instructions.
Durable Power of AttorneyAllows someone else to handle financial matters for assets in your individual name, particularly retirement plans. It is also used to put assets in your trust if you become disabled prior to your trust becoming fully funded.
Health Care Power of AttorneyAlso known as a Designation of Patient Advocate, this instrument designates an individual to act if you are incapable of making health care decisions or providing informed consent. To be effective, it must include provisions for HIPAA privacy and provisions for end of life decisions.