Estate Planning Library
Estate Planning Resources
- Preparing to Create Your Estate Plan
- Probate and Probate Avoidance
- Revocable Living Trusts
- Providing for Your Minor Children
- Estate, Gift, and Generation-Skipping Transfer Taxes and Tax-Saving Strategies
- Durable Powers of Attorney for Financial Matters
- Advance Medical Directives
- Reviewing and Revising Your Estate Plan
- Neglect, Avoidance, and Procrastination
- Do-It-Yourself Disasters
- Missteps with Beneficiary Designations
- Poor Planning for Young or Special Needs Beneficiaries
- Ignoring the Possibility of Your Own Incapacity
- Tax Blunders for Those with Substantial Estates
- Neglecting to Maintain Your Estate Plan
- Other Common Oversights and Omissions
- Relying on the Wrong People
- Types of Guardians
- Qualities to Look for in a Guardian
- Selection of Alternate Guardians
- Speak with the Person You Have Chosen as Guardian
- Create a Written Record of Your Selection
- Naming Someone Other Than Your Child’s Other Parent
- Probate: A Brief Overview
- An Executor’s Duties
- Desirable Qualities in an Executor
- Specific Suggestions and Cautions
- Choosing an Alternate Executor
- Planning for Disposition of Your Property
- Planning for Your Minor Children or Disabled Dependents
- Planning for Your Incapacity
- Tax Planning
- Planning for Estate and Trust Administration
- Making an Inventory of Your Estate
- What Is a Durable Power of Attorney and Why Do You Need One?
- Choosing an Attorney-in-Fact
- What Powers to Give Your Attorney-in-Fact
- When a Durable Power of Attorney Takes Effect
- Executing Your Durable Power of Attorney and Storing and Distributing the Document
- Changing or Revoking Your Durable Power of Attorney
- What Happens if the Attorney in Fact Abuses Power?
- 7 Common Misconceptions About Durable Powers of Attorney
- Estate Planning Is for Everyone
- Distribution of Your Property
- Avoiding Probate
- Providing for Minor Children
- Preparing for Incapacity
- Reducing Estate Taxes
- The Four Essential Estate Planning Documents You Need
— All Trusts
— Revocable Living Trusts
— Other Types of Trusts used for Estate Planning
III. Durable Powers of Attorney
IV. Advance Directives: Living Wills and Health Care Durable Powers of Attorney
- Why Do I Need a Will?
- Can I Make a Handwritten Will?
- What Are the Requirements for a Legal Will?
- What Is the Difference Between a Will and a Living Will?
- Who Can Make a Will?
- Do I Have to Have a Certain Amount of Assets to Make a Will?
- What Property Passes Under a Will and What Property Does Not? and 12 more
- Gathering and Securing Important Papers
- Checklist of Important Papers
- Where to Put Them
- Preparing Your Instruction Manual
- Digital or Paper?
- What to Cover
- Additional Help
I. Living Wills
— Why You Need a Living Will
— Treatment Choices in Your Living Will
— Executing and Distributing Your Living Will
— When a Living Will Takes Effect
— Changing or Revoking Your Living Will
II. Health Care Durable Power of Attorney
— Why You Need a Health Care Durable Power of Attorney (DPOA)
— Choosing Your Health Care Agent
— What Decisions Your Health Care Agent Can Make
— Executing and Distributing Your Health Care DPOA
— When a Health Care DPOA Goes Into Effect
— Circumstances Under Which Your Health Care DPOA Might End
— Changing or Revoking Your Health Care DPOA
III. 8 Common Misconceptions About Living Wills and Health Care DPOAs
- Will or Living Trust with a Pour Over Will
- Durable Power of Attorney
- Health Care Power of Attorney
- Living Will
- Beneficiary Designations
- Estate Planning is Ongoing
I. What Is Probate?
II. Property That Must Be Probated
III. What Happens During Probate
IV. Making the Decision
V. Ways to Avoid Probate
— Revocable Living Trust
— Joint Tenancy
— Transfer on Death Deeds for Real Property
— Transfer on Death Registration for Cars
— Transfer on Death Designated Bank Accounts and Securities Registrations
— Beneficiary Designations for Life Insurance and Retirement Accounts
— Lifetime Gifts
- Buy-Sell Agreements: An Overview
- What a Buy-Sell Agreement Can Accomplish
- Events That Can Trigger a Buy-Sell Agreement
- Types of Buy-Sell Agreements
- Methods of Setting a Price for the Buyout
- Buyout Funding and Payment Terms
- When to Adopt a Buy-Sell Agreement
- Are You Married and Do You and Your Spouse…?
- Do You Have Minor Children Who…?
- Do You Own Significant Assets That Might Be…?
- Do You Have Heirs You Wish to Disinherit?
- Are Your Family Dynamics Complicated and…?
- Do You Have a Beneficiary with Special Needs Who…?
- Do You Want to Leave a Portion of Your Estate to Charities?
- How a 529 Savings Plan Works
- Frequently Asked Questions About 529 Plans
- Choosing a Plan
- How a Revocable Living Trust (RLT) Works
- Advantages and Disadvantages of an RLT
- Common Misconceptions About What an RLT Can Do
- What Property You Should Transfer into Your RLT
- Federal Taxes and Your RLT
- Reasons Why a RLT May Not Be the Right Solution for You
- Marital Deduction Trusts
- Bypass or Credit Shelter Trusts
- Portability of Exclusion
- Why You Need a Will
- Requirements for a Legal Will
- Common Provisions Found in Well-Prepared Wills
- Property That You Can Pass by a Will
- Property That You Cannot Pass by a Will
- Where You Should Keep Your Will