As long as the pall of the Covid-19 Cornona Virus pandemic is hanging over our heads and the Grim Reaper is lurking about, keeping us quarantined in our homes with masks on, you might as well do something about it! Plan A is don’t die. But Plan B is if you’re going to die, please be organized about it. And if you have any real property or assets greater than $150K, and you want to avoid the costs and the hassle of probate for your family, you need a complete Living Trust. So let’s put lack of planning on the back burner and our angst to good use.
Now that you have time, lets get some documentation together. Things that you will need to pass onto your loved ones if the Grim Reaper comes calling.
1) List of your Assets – what they are, who to call about them and where they are. A simple spreadsheet of your assets including your retirement accounts, brokerage accounts, banking accounts (even the secret ones that you hide with fun money stashed away) and most importantly, real property.
2) Property Control Documents – Things like Grant Deeds, Mortgage and Promissory Notes, Home Equity Lines of Credit Documents are all important and necessary to accomplish a smooth transition after you are gone. Oh….don’t forget any pre-nuptial agreements ( Pre-Nupts) as they are pretty important.
3) Your last Will and Testament along with any bequeathments and special requests….you want that ugly painting of the seashore to go to your Aunt Mary…This should be part of your estate planning documentation.
4) Your Revocable Living Trust…if you dont have one and have more than $150K in assets…..GET ONE! Changeable for future changes but set in stone for the meantime!
5) Advanced Health Care Directive along with HIPPA waiver so that your loved ones have clear directive of what to do when you can’t act for yourself.
6) Financial Powers of Attorney, for someone you trust to act in your behalf financially…someone to pay the bills, get you care and most importantly, protect your assets by being able to act as you.
You need an attorney to craft the Living Trust, your Advanced Health Care Directive along with the Powers of Attorney, properly and to FUND THE TRUST. Failure to do this properly will land your loved ones into the Probate jungle. It is the old adage at work….pay me some now or pay me much more later…
Dallara Law prepares Estate Planning Documents. The process begins with a questionnaire and finishes with an Estate Plan! Don’t wait for the Grim Reaper…..and you nothing better to do now anyway. Give us a call!