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Draft an Estate Plan

Updated: Sep 1, 2023

Don’t worry, we’re not going to focus completely on death. Disability is just as important to plan for, and almost as fun! All kidding aside, no one ever wants to discuss estate planning, but it’s important in everyone’s life. So, do you need an estate plan? The answer is yes - but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to pay an attorney thousands of dollars to get one drafted. Here are some things everyone who’s over the age of 18 should think about.


Beneficiaries, Transfer on Death (TOD), Payable on Death (POD)

These all pretty much mean the same thing - if you have a financial account (including bank accounts), you can almost always direct where you want the funds to go upon your passing. The great thing about these designations? They ensure that the listed asset avoids probate, saving money for your estate, and making things easier on your heirs. Review these to make sure they’re listed wherever possible (note - you can even generally list a TOD on real estate).


Wills and Trusts

Any assets that you don’t have a beneficiary listed on will look to either your will or your trust (depending on how it’s titled). There are a few benefits to each, but a couple of the most important points are below:

  • Trusts avoid probate - wills don’t

  • Either can appoint a guardian for your kids and pets

  • Trusts can allow you to control your assets after your passing

  • A will can create a trust upon your passing


Power of Attorney (POA) Forms

Even if the other two don’t necessarily apply, you should have POA forms drafted. This appoints someone you trust to make decisions on your behalf. There’s one for healthcare, and a separate one for finance - you can name the same person for both or a different one for each. Why is this important? Because accidents happen. You don’t want your loved ones working through court to be able to help you in your time of need, and as soon as you turn 18, that becomes the process if you become incapacitated.


 

As always, keep in mind that you don't have to go it alone. Check out my website to see what it's like to work with me and reach out if you have any questions.


If you found this post helpful, help spread the word! But remember, this is solely for educational purposes - it's not advice.


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