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Lesson in the Law August Report

August 12, 2020

Put Estate Planning on Your List

Below is a simple checklist I created to help determine if estate planning should be put on your action list of things that need done now. It’s never too early or too late to get your affairs in order. This is one goal that everyone needs to consider. Make it a point to plan right now.

1) Review your will/trust. Are your documents current? Do you still have a relationship with that person you’ve appointed as your executor? Do you have established guardians for your kids? Can they be found?

2) Review your living will and your healthcare and financial powers of attorney. Who will make decisions for you if you are no longer able to? Who will make sure your bills are paid, your pets fed and your affairs kept in order?

3) Update your will/trust. If our children are adults, do you want to make provisions for them that are different from when they were minors? Have your assets changed? Who is going to get what? Has your estate been valued?

4) Update your living will and powers or attorney. Without good planning, decisions might be made that aren’t what you would have wanted. Your voice will not be heard.

5) Review your real estate deed. There is specific language that needs to be included on your deed that if it isn’t there means the inherited portion of the home will need to go through probate—even if you have a will. Title to the property may not automatically transfer to your spouse.

6) Update your deeds if necessary.

Atty. John J. Urban

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