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Once you complete the Estate Wishes worksheet, you have a good idea of what you want to happen to your assets at your death and who will take care of your loved ones. However, without further action on your part, the courts will make these decisions for you and in a fashion you might not like. You need to understand some important documents, and prepare them.
To begin with, you need to prepare a will, a formal document stating how you want your estate distributed. You also need to know how to make changes to your will if necessary later on, and you need to understand what a will cannot do.
You may want to create a trust, a separate legal entity that will control the assets you place into it. You will probably want to prepare a Durable Power of Attorney, in case you become unable to take care of your financial affairs. And you may also want to draw up a Letter of Instruction, a Living Will, and a Medical Durable Power of Attorney.
SUGGESTION: Timing is everything. The only way for any of these documents to be legal is if you are of "sound mind" when you sign them (this mental ability is called "capacity"). If you wait too long to have these documents prepared, illness or injury may cause you to lose capacity. Then it is too late.
Securities and Investment Advisory Services are offered through LPL Financial, a Registered Investment Advisor, member FINRA/SIPC. Insurance products are offered through LPL Financial or its licensed affiliates. Heartland Planning Associates is a trade name of Heartland Bank. Heartland Bank and Heartland Planning Associates are not a registered broker/dealers and are not affiliated with LPL Financial. The investment products sold through LPL Financial are not insured Heartland Bank deposits and are not FDIC insured. These products are not obligations of Heartland Bank and are not endorsed, recommended or guaranteed by Heartland Bank or any other government agency. The value of the investment may fluctuate, the return on the investment is not guaranteed, and loss of principal is possible. The LPL Financial representatives associated with this website may discuss and/or transact securities business only with residents of the following state: Ohio. Check the background of investment professionals associated with this site on FINRA's BrokerCheck.
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