If you are age 18 or older, you need your own estate plan. Jacksonville estate planning attorneys, Arnold Law, know that you have questions and concerns about the documents you need. In fact, if you’re like most people you may not even know what legal estate planning documents you need. Arnold Law (Jacksonville’s estate planning attorneys) is providing this list and brief explanation of each estate planning document for your convenience.
1. Revocable Living Trust
The revocable living trust is a comprehensive legal document that organizes your assets while you are alive and well, provides for your disability, and distributes your assets to your beneficiaries after you die.
It has many benefits such as disability planning and asset protection for your beneficiaries.
In addition, if fully funded (meaning that your assets are transferred into your trust), a revocable living trust avoids probate, saving you time and money and keeping your personal and financial affairs private.
Yes, Jacksonville estate planning attorneys, Arnold Law, can help to avoid probate, using this important estate planning document. Call now to learn how. 904-264-3627.
Even if you have a trust, you need a will. You appoint an executor to wind down your financial life and guardians to raise your minor children in your will.
In addition, you instruct how your assets are to be distributed at your death. If you have a trust, the only beneficiary of your will is generally your trust.
3. Financial Power of Attorney
A power of attorney for finances is imperative. If you are unable to manage your assets and carry out your day to day financial affairs, your appointed agent will act on your behalf.
4. Medical Power of Attorney
So long as you are able to make your own health care decisions, you will continue to do so. Your agent under the medical power of attorney will act on your behalf if necessary.
5. Living Will
The living will keeps you from being hooked up to machines and having your life artificially extended with heroic measures. The living will is effective if you are in an irreversible coma, persistent vegetative state, or otherwise terminal and at the very end of life.
6. Organ Donation Form
The organ donation form helps you to save the lives of up to 8 people, letting your loved ones and medical personnel know that you wish to be an organ donor.
7. Temporary Guardians for Your Minor Children
If you’re like most people, you think that you’re “done” when you name guardians in your will. However, your will is only effective if you’re deceased.
If you’re alive but unable to care for your children due to serious injury or illness, your children will need someone to care for them. You appoint temporary guardians to act during your lifetime in a separate document, a power of attorney.
8. First Responders
A document authorizing first responders to stay with your children until your named guardians arrive is essential to prevent your children from being taken into protective custody (i.e. foster care) if your guardians aren’t immediately reachable.