Ivan K. Clements, Jr., P.A.
Attorney at Law

Estate Planning

Ivan K. Clements, Jr., P.A. helps assist and prepare estate planning documents, which could include a Trust, Last Will and Testament, Durable Power of Attorney, Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care, Living Will, Codicil, and Amendment to Trust.

Ten Things Every Adult Should Have as Part of Their Estate Plan

Did you ever wonder what would happen to your property if you suddenly died or became incapacitated? Would your family be able to determine what you own, where your bank accounts are, how to inquire about your retirement plans, whether you have life insurance, if you’ve made plans on how your assets would be taken care of, bills paid, loans collected? Here are ten things every adult should have in one central place so that your loved ones can take care of these matters when you are gone or if you become incapacitated and cannot take care of them yourself:

1. Last Will and Testament. Without a Will, state law determines who receives your estate, and in what proportions, after you die.

2. Revocable Trust. If you do not have a Trust, your estate may be unnecessarily subject to probate, resulting in time delays, fees, and costs that could have been avoided. Assets that you have placed in a Trust do not go through probate. A Trust can also help avoid a costly Guardianship over all of your property if you become incapacitated and unable to manage your assets.

3. Living Will. You could be kept alive by extraordinary medical measures in the event of your total mental and physical incapacity, at the end of your life, without a Living Will.

4. Designation of Health Care Surrogate. If you become unable to make medical decisions or consent to medical treatment for yourself, for whatever reason (accident, illness, dementia), who has the authority to make these decisions for you? A written Designation of Health Care Surrogate (sometimes called a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care) solves this issue.

5. Durable Power of Attorney. This is a great document to give someone you trust who can take care of your finances and property if you are unable to do so.

6. Your Retirement Assets. You should keep documents about your Pension, Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs), 401(k) Plans, Annuities, and other retirement assets with your other estate planning documents. At the very least, keep a list of these assets and update the list frequently. Make sure the list includes account numbers, retirement plan managers addresses and telephone numbers and value of each asset.

7. Life Insurance Documents. Keep your life insurance documents with your other estate planning papers. Dont forget information about your life insurance policy through your employer.

8. Marriage and Divorce Papers. Your marriage license, divorce decree or judgment, Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO), Pre-Nuptial or Post-Nuptial Agreement will be helpful to anyone who may be called on to manage your estate.

9. Bank or Brokerage Account Records. Checking, Savings, Safe Deposit Box, brokerage accounts, and other bank information kept in one location will be of great assistance to anyone who has gather information regarding your assets.

10. Ownership and Debt Documents. Deeds, mortgages, promissory notes, car titles, cemetery plot information, stock certificates, savings bonds, loans to others, debts you owe, or a detailed list of these and similar documents should be kept with your estate planning documents.

Contact Ivan K. Clements, Jr., P.A. if you have any questions and need legal help regarding estate planning.