Estate Planning - Oro Valley Real Estate
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Many people might think that estate planning isn’t for them.
But no matter how much or how little you possess, there are six estate planning documents that every adult should have.
Durable power of attorney:
A durable power of attorney permits you to choose who will make financial and legal decisions should you ever become incapacitated.
Health care directive or medical power of attorney:
Like a durable power of attorney, a healthcare proxy or durable power of attorney for healthcare allows you to appoint an agent to make healthcare decisions when you are not able to do so.
Will:
Your will disposes of probate assets, assets that are owned individually and that do not have a beneficiary designation.
The will names an individual to administer the estate, dictates how the probate assets are distributed; provides for simplified administration of the estate; and, where applicable, names a guardian for any minor children.
The executor or personal representative pays your outstanding bills, collects anything you might be owed, files your final tax return, prepares an estate tax return, if necessary.
Revocable trust:
Depending on state law, probate can be a time-consuming and expensive process.
The revocable trust, or what is also called a living trust, is that to the extent the revocable trust is funded, it can avoid probate upon passing.
The main benefits are avoiding probate; privacy (the will is a public document whereas the revocable trust is generally private); and disability management.
Beneficiary designations:
Retirement accounts and life insurance death benefits are distributed not through a will but by something called a beneficiary designation.
And as part of your estate plan, it’s important to review and update your retirement account and life insurance policy beneficiary designations at least annually, and certainly when life events occur.
Guidance letter:
Individuals should prepare a guidance letter to the family regarding everything from funeral arrangements to assets to family memories and/or future guidance.