Estate Planning 101

Estate planning is one of those necessary evils. No one likes to think about it but everyone has to do it. We want to bring you some peace of mind and let you know we have streamlined the estate planning process here at Sustainable Law Group into two basic categories: (1) what to do before your estate planning appointment and (2) what to do after your estate planning appointment.

Before Your Appointment:

There are some questions you will want to ask yourself before coming into your appointment, these include:

  • What is your current and anticipated financial situation and your approximate net-worth?
  • What are your family members’ needs and how you would want to divide your assets among them, and any other individuals or charities?
  • Who are two people that you would feel comfortable managing your assets if you were unable to make decisions?
  • Who do you have listed as a beneficiary on your insurance or 401K plans?
  • If you have children under 18, who would be their guardian?
  • What kind of life-saving measures would you want taken to prolong your life, and what are the limitations of those measures?
  • Do you want to be an organ donor?
  • Do you have a specific religious practice you would want to perform if you are gravely ill?
  • Do you have specific burial instructions?

There are also a couple of things you want to bring before your appointment, these include:

  • Copies of the deeds for each of your properties and loan/mortgage documents – in the alternative you can bring the most recent copy of your tax bill for each property
  • Information regarding your assets
  • Contact information from your accountant, banks, financial advisors, insurance agents

After Your Appointment:

After your appointment, your main focus should be updating your various accounts and property interests to benefit your trust. Consider amending:

  • Your various bank accounts
  • Your 401K beneficiary
  • Real Property transferred into the trust

Finally, it is important to periodically review and revisit the terms of your trust (we suggest 5 years). If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment to begin the estate planning process, please call (310) 883- 7923 or email us at info@sustainable-lawyer.com.

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