Our 12 Step Estate Planning Checklist will make certain that you can control your finances and healthcare decisions no matter what life throws at you. All of these decisions should be discussed with you loved ones now.
Step 1. Financial Powers of Attorney
While you are young and healthy you may not realize that in serious illness you lose control.
A Financial Power of Attorney will give a trusted family member or friend the ability to act on your behalf, if you are unable to manage your finances.
Critical for business owners to make certain your business, health insurance and salary continues even if you are disabled.
Step 2. Healthcare Powers of Attorney
While you are healthy you make all of your own health care decisions. When you get ill, that may not be possible.
A Healthcare Power of Attorney will give a trusted family member or loved one the ability to make healthcare decisions for you. Even decision of life and death.
Step 3. Guardianship over your Children
If you have minor children, or children with special challenges, in the event of your incapacity or death, what will happen to your children?
Estate planning will insure that the people you choose will be able to take care of your children, emotionally and financially.
Step 4. HIPAA Directives
If you are very ill, federal law takes over where state law ends.
HIPAA Directives grant important federal rights, which will allow your trusted loved ones to have access to:
- Your medical records
- Make important health care decisions
- Continue pay bills when you cannot
Step 5. Last Will and Testament
Without a Last Will and Testament the government decides your beneficiaries…not you.
A Last Will and Testament will insure the right beneficiaries.
Critical for business owners to make certain your business, health insurance and salary continues to your family even after you are gone.
Step 6. Living Trust
The Trust avoids probate, avoids unnecessary taxes, and can be used over many years to protect you and your loved ones.
You establish your living trust during your lifetime. You then put your assets into your trust so that you, and then your trusted loved ones can manage your financial affairs in disability or after death. A Trust also helps to reduce and eliminate the 6 kinds of death tax.
Critical for business owners to make certain your business, health insurance and salary continues even if you are disabled. It will also insure that your family is protected, after you are gone.
Step 7. Beneficiary Designations
Assets pass to your chosen loved ones immediately upon death, without cost or probate.
Beneficiary designations can be used in IRAs, 401(k) s, Life Insurance and bank accounts. The beneficiary will receive asset simply upon presentation of ID and a death certificate. Problems arise when you don’t check these designations regularly.
Step 8. Life Insurance
Life Insurance gives your loved ones cash when they need it most.
You will never see a widow, a widower or a child give back a life insurance check.
Step 9. Long Term Care Insurance
Nursing home care is EXPENSIVE.
Long term care insurance makes certain there is enough resources for an excellent nursing home.
Step 10. Protecting your Loved Ones
If you want to make certain that no-one steals your money, or your loved one’s inheritance, do your estate plan.
Step 11. Minimizing Taxes
There are now, 6 count them, 6 kinds of death taxes.
Proper estate planning will insure that you and your loved ones pay the least amount of taxes legally possible.
Step 12. Insure Control
When you least expect it a serious illness can happen. That is why it is so important to design your estate plan while you can. None of us know, what tomorrow will bring.
That is our 12 step estate planning checklist. Find a qualified estate planning attorney who can guide you through this process. Don’t try to do it alone. There is too much at stake.