estate planning

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2. WRITING A WILL Estate planning is not just for the wealthy. People at all economic levels benefit from an estate plan. An estate plan legally protects and distributes property based on you wishes and the needs of your family and/or survivors with as little tax a possible. 3. WHAT IF YOU BECOME INCAPACITATED Do you assume that if you become incapacitated that your spouse or children will automatically be allowed to make financial and/or medical decisions for you? That is not necessarily true. How do you make sure that they canan Advance Medical Directive. 4. ADVANCE MEDICAL DIRECTIVES Advance directives are written documents that tell you doctors what kind of treatment youll want if you become unable to make medical decision (for example, if youre in a coma). The forms and laws vary from state to state so it is a good idea to understand the laws to your state. Its also a good idea to make these directives before you become very ill. 5. FEDERAL LAWS Federal law requires hospitals, nursing homes, and other institutions that receive Medicare or Medicaid funds to provide written information regarding advanced care directives to all patients upon admission. 6. LIVING WILL A living will is one type of advance directive that comes into effect when a person is terminally ill. A living will does not give you the opportunity to select someone to make decisions for you, but allow you to specify the kind of treatment you want in a specific situation. 7. DNR You can, if you choose, include an advance directive that you do not wish to be resuscitated if your heart stops or if you stop breathing. In this case, a Do Not Resucscitate (DNR) order would be entered on your medical chart. 8. Wills A will is the most practical first step in estate planning; it makes it clear how you want your property to be distributed after you die. Writing a will can be as simple as typing out how you want your assets to be transferred to loved ones or charitable organizations (dont forget your favorite library) after your death. 9. No Will If you dont have a will when you die, your estate will be handled by probate, and your property could be distributed differently than what you would like. 10. Legal Advice It may help to get legal advice when writing a will, particularly when it come to understanding all the rules of the estate disposition process in your state. Some states, for instance, have community-property laws that entitle your surviving spouse to keep half of your wealth after you die no matter what percentage you leave him or her. Fees will vary. 11. Rules for Writing a Will You must be 18 years of age or older. A will must be written in sound judgment and mental capacity to be valid The document must clearly state that it is your will. 12. Rules continued An executor of your will, who ensures your estate is distributed according to your wishes, must be named. It is not necessary to notarize or record your will but these can safeguard against claims that your will is invalid. To be valid, you must sign a will in the presence of at least two witnesses. 13. Choose an Executor An executor is the person who is responsible for settling the estate after death. 14. Duties of an Executor Taking inventory of property and belongings Appraising and distributing assets Paying taxes Settling debts owed by the deceased 15. Most important Most important, the executor is legally obligated to act in the interests of the deceased, following the wishes provided by the will. Here again, it could be helpful to consult an attorney to help with the probate process or offer legal guidance. Any person over the age of 18, who hasnt been convicted of a felony, can be named executor of a will. 16. Dont want to be executor If youve been named executor in someones will but are not able or do not want to serve, you need to file a declination, which is a legal document that declines your designation as an executor. The contingent executor named in the will then assumes responsibility. If no contingent executor is named, the court will appoint one. 17. Write a Social Media Will Social media is part of daily life, so what happens to the online content that you created once you die? If you are active online you should consider creating a statement of how you would like you online identity to be handled, like a social media will. 18. Online executor You should appoint someone you trust as an online executor. This person will be responsible for the closure of your email addresses, social median profiles, and blogs after you are deceased. 19. Steps to write a Social Media Will Review privacy policies, terms and conditions of each website where you have a presence. State how you would like your profiles to be handled- cancel it or keep it for friends and family. Give the social media executor a list of all the websites where you have a profile, along with your usernames and passwords. Stipulate in your will that your online executor is given a copy of your death certificate as they may need it as proof to take action on your behalf. 20. Review your Estate Plan Consider changes if. The value of your assets change You marry, divorce, or remarry You have a child or grandchild You move to a different state You executor dies or becomes incapacitated One of your heirs dies Laws affecting your estate change 21. Thank you


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