HOMEJON A. ZAHABY, ESQ.REAL ESTATE & TRUSTS BLOGESTATE PLANNING INTAKE WORKSHEETCONTACT USPAYMENT

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Friday, August 27, 2010

Estate Planning Documents Overview: Part 1

BASIC ESTATE PLANNING:

The documents comprising a basic estate plan are a revocable living trust, a pour-over will, an advanced health care directive, a living will and a durable or springing power of attorney for financial or real property matters.

REVOCABLE LIVING TRUST

The most common uses for the Revocable Living Trust is to avoid probate and to control distributions to beneficiaries.  The Revocable Trust is private and will not be a public record like a Will, which is filed with the court.  Property held in the name of the trust will not be subject to probate proceedings.

When you transfer your assets (Real and Personal Property) into the Trust it is called funding the Trust.  With a Revocable Living Trust usually the Grantor or Creator of the Trust acts as the initial trustee and should that person become incapacitated the named successor trustee takes over and manages the trust assets on your (Grantor's) behalf.  Upon you death the successor trustee distributes the assets to the beneficiaries that you designated.

POUR-OVER WILL

A pour-over will is used in conjunction with a Revocable Living Trust and is intended to catch any assets that were overlooked when funding the trust or were not transferred for any other reason.

DURABLE/SPRINGING POWER OF ATTORNEY FOR PROPERTY

Power of Attorneys are added to the basic estate plan to provide for management and handling of your non-trust assets by your designated individual.  This allows that person to pay your bills from you personal bank account, transfer property to your trust, etc. if you become incapacitated.

ADVANCED HEALTH CARE DIRECTIVES

This documents allows you to designate an agent to make health care decisions for you in the event that you become incapacitated.  The Advanced Health Care Directive should express your preferences regarding health care and artificial life-support.

DON'T FORGET THE HIPAA FORM TO DESIGNATE AN AGENT FOR OBTAINING YOUR MEDICAL RECORDS AND INFORMATION.

 

 

 

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