1. Preparing to Create Your Estate Plan
2. Probate and Probate Avoidance
4. Revocable Living Trusts
5. Providing for Your Minor Children
6. Estate, Gift, and Generation-Skipping Transfer Taxes and Tax-Saving Strategies
7. Durable Powers of Attorney for Financial Matters
8. Advance Medical Directives
9. 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