September 24

Important estate planning documents

Cortes Law Firm Oklahoma City Estate Planning Attorney

Important estate planning documents everyone needs

Do you know the estate planning documents that are essential to your estate plan? Well, by the end of today's video, you'll have a better idea of what those are. 

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What goes into a revocable living trust-centered estate plan? They should always have these essential documents.

Protect themselves and their family

 The main one, of course, is the revocable living trust that gives absolute direction on what happens to your assets during your lifetime and what happens to your assets once you pass away.

If you do have a revocable living trust-centered estate plan, you still need a last will, and we call that a pour-over will. And it's called a pour-over will because, if there's an asset that was not put into the name of your trust, then the pour-over will, literally, think of it as a pitcher, pours that asset back into your trust for distribution according to the terms of your trust.

So that's very important. 

The next thing your revocable living trust-centered estate plan will have is a power of attorney, a financial, durable power of attorney. This is very important because, while your trustee, whether it's you or a successor trustee during your lifetime, has control over the assets that are in the trust.

They don't have control over the assets that are not in your trust. So whoever your power of attorney is, under your financial power of attorney, has the power to place those assets, during your lifetime, into the name of the trust. So it's kind of like a pour-over will during your lifetime. 

So for example, let's say you were to become incapacitated, and your successor trustee took over during your lifetime, and they noticed that there was a rental house or a car or some asset that was not in the name of your trust. In other words, it was not part of the trust estate.

Well then, they could go to whoever your power of attorney is and have them transfer that asset, during your lifetime, to the name of the trust so that it's governed under the terms of your trust. Remember, anything that is not in your trust at your death has to be probated.

Very important.

So if your successor trustee notices that something is not in the trust, then they really need to make sure that it gets into the name of the trust in the event you do pass away, and that way they can avoid having to have a probate for that one asset that got left out. That's your financial power of attorney.

You also need a healthcare power of attorney. In addition to the healthcare power of attorney, you also have what's called an advanced directive, sometimes called a living will. And the third health document you need is a HIPAA document.

Now, all three of these documents together work together, during your lifetime, to give direction on what you want to happen in the event you become incapacitated and can't make decisions for yourself. Very important.

And I've got other videos that you can check out on our channel that go in depth on durable power of attorney, healthcare power of attorney, living will and HIPAA authorization. So go back and watch those, after you watch this video, of course. 

Those are the essential documents that you need to have in place if you have a revocable living trust-centered estate plan. Now, I know some of you are gonna say, "Well, I have all those same documents, "but I don't have a trust. "I just have a will." 

You can do kind of the same thing with a last will and testament, and it would be all those same documents, just not the trust. So instead of a pour-over will, you would have a last will and testament.

You'd have your durable power of attorney, you'd have your healthcare power of attorney, you'd have your living will, and you'd have your HIPAA authorization. 

So you'd still essentially have those same documents in place. But remember, the big difference is that a revocable living trust-centered estate plan really takes care of you during your lifetime.

After you pass away, your trustee is able to distribute your assets and still administer your trust, according to the terms of your trust, without having to go through the probate process, the time and expense of having to go through the probate process, if you didn't have a revocable living trust.

It's just up to you. You guys know from watching my videos that I prefer a revocable living trust-centered estate plan. 

I know I've thrown a lot at you today, so that's why we've prepared our free guide on estate planning. I'll put a link to it in the description below and in the comment section below that, so that you can download it and get started in the right direction.

And to help you out even more, watch this video up here and this video up here. If you enjoyed this video, then, guys, please smash that subscribe button and click on the like button. And also click on that little bell so you'll get notified every time we post a new video. Have a great day and an awesome week, and as always, thanks for watching.

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