What is an ESTATE PLAN? Estate planning is preparation. It is creating a plan for the transfer of your assets after your death. Amazingly, most people are not thinking about their death. AND most people don’t think they have enough “wealth” to make it worth dealing with. However, if you have anything at all, it is worth planning out how those assets should be transferred. I know that thinking of death sounds morbid, but at Bloom, we call it a kindness. Having a plan in place gives those left behind a guidebook on legal matters (which can be overwhelming) and allows them space to grieve.
So what is included in an Estate Plan? At Bloom Legal Group, we provide an Estate Planning Bundle that includes the following:
Last Will and Testament – A Will tells the state how you would like your wealth and possessions distributed after you die. If you do not have a will, the state has a formula that distributes your wealth and possessions for you. Your desires and the state’s formula may not match. A will is important especially if you have children or dependents with special needs because it can also contain guardianship and trust provisions.
General Durable Power of Attorney – A General Durable Power of Attorney is a legal document that gives someone else the authority to take actions of your behalf (selling property, managing bank accounts) and it remains valid even if you become incapacitated or unable to make decisions for yourself. This document is so important because usually, once you realize you need it, it is too late. It is a document that can be used when someone has dementia or Alzheimer’s or if one party is over seas and needs something handled stateside. If a general durable power of attorney is not in place, it usually takes a judicial order appointing a guardian which can take time and money and effort to put into place.
Medical Power of Attorney – A Medical Power of Attorney is a legal document that gives someone else the authority to make medical decisions on your behalf. Unlike the GDPOA discussed above, this document does not become effective until such a time as you are incapacitated and unable to make decisions for yourself. This document can inform your representative of how you feel about life support and other medical procedures so that if a time comes and you are unable to make those decisions yourself, your representative is informed.
Bloom Binder – At Bloom, in addition to the above documents, a binder is provided. In this binder, there are sections for you to keep track of important documents such as life insurance, retirement plans, deeds, car titles etc. It also provides space for you to articulate your wishes for funeral arrangements.
If you are ready to put a plan in place to give your loved ones peace of mind, contact us today and we’ll set up a time to meet!