Leaving a Legacy
Determining what happens to your estate, also known as the sum of all the things you own, after your death (your home and other property, vehicles, bank accounts, investments, life insurance policies, retirement benefits, and anything else that is yours) should be something everyone considers as they plan for the future.
Creating a Will
It’s not a fun activity, but writing a will is one of the first steps you should take when estate planning. Having a will ensures that your wishes will be carried out. If you should die without a will, your state will make all decisions regarding the distribution of your things – regardless of what you may have wanted. Preparing a will is relatively inexpensive (costing as little as $50), so take action now and have peace of mind. Visit our StraightTalk® Estate Planning Guide or contact us for more information.
A revocable living trust is a trust that you set up while you are still living and to which you immediately transfer ownership of assets that you plan to pass on to your heirs. You continue to control your assets within the trust and can revoke it or change it at any time. The chief advantage of living trusts is that after your death the ownership of the trust passes directly to the beneficiaries; it does not have to go through probate. Visit our StraightTalk® Estate Planning Guide or contact us for more information.
Living Wills and Durable Power of Attorney
Making a will and/or creating a living trust are not sufficient because their main purpose is to determine what happens to your estate once you’ve died. To cover the likelihood that you may eventually not be able to make your own health care decisions, you need a few more simple documents.
Experts recommend that you prepare two documents—a healthcare declaration and a durable power of attorney for health care. The healthcare directive defines the type of care you want or don’t want. Healthcare directives may be called living wills, advance directive, medical directive, directive to physicians, declaration regarding health care, designation of health care surrogate, or patient advocate directive depending on the state you live in. The durable power of attorney appoints someone to be your health care agent. Visit our StraightTalk® Estate Planning Guide or contact us for more information.