Estate planning is crucial for all of us, especially if you have a terminal illness. It is a way to protect your assets, possessions, and money for you and your heirs. It will assure your estate is given out the way you want. Many methods are available to help you do this. Some can minimize estate/inheritance taxes by avoiding or minimizing the involvement of probate court.
If you attempt your own estate planning, it is important to remember that most documents require two witnesses. It is better if the signers are not beneficiaries. The signatures may have to be notarized, but it is a good idea in any case. If you have property in different states, you may need separate documents for each one.
Everyone should have an estate plan specific for their needs. It is important to have a basic understanding of estate planning, even if you decide to use an estate planning professional. Since you can’t expect any verbal requests about your estate to be enforced, everything has to be in writing.
Important information to include in your estate plan
You should talk with your intended trustee, power of attorney, and/or executor before creating any document designating them.
If they have not been shared before death, make sure you leave behind a document that has the location of all your assets, including usernames and passwords for digital assets
Your executor will need this document to settle your estate. If you become incapacitated, the person managing your estate will also need it.
Store the necessary documents in a safe place that can be easily accessed by you, your agent, and any other involved party such as a lawyer. See section on Options for Storing Documents, Information, and Files.
Before you meet with your attorney, you can click on the download button form below from FindLaw to collect and record the details necessary to create your estate plan.
Updated: October 4, 2023