With the threat of COVID-19, we’ve all come face-to-face with our mortality, but are you prepared for the worst? A consumer report stated that only seven percent of those ages 19 to 29 have an advance directive for health care emergencies. Even less have a will.
Estate planning is boring, difficult, and requires an attorney to finalize, but it’s one of the most important things we could do for ourselves or our loved ones. Are your affairs in order?
Your estate is basically everything you own. If it’s not protected, it could be taken away from your loved ones.
The first and most important things you’ll need? A living will and a health care proxy or power of attorney. These documents allow you to choose who speaks for you if you cannot speak for yourself.
Also, a HIPPA authorization allows whoever you want to talk to your doctor. You can get a free form through your doctor’s office.
You will also want a financial power of attorney to handle bills, contracts, and assets. This document must be signed and notarized.
Next is payable on death and transfer on death which allows your personal or investment bank account balances to be given directly to your designated person.
Something you’re going to need to make is a digital asset inventory. This outlines your entire online presence and includes all accounts, logins, passwords, social media, and professional profiles, and most importantly, a list of everything you have on autopay.
Finally, you need a last will and testament which will allow you to pick a personal representative to handle your affairs. However, a will does not keep assets out of probate! So, make sure you still have all of those other documents ready.
Also, a personal property memorandum is a form that lists who you want sentimental, non-monetary, items to go to, and you can make that one without a lawyer!