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My SeniorCare Advisors

Some Estate Planning Do's and Don’ts

Just a few quick thoughts about your estate and planning for it.....

These suggestions, if followed, can add to your peace of mind about estate planning matters:

1. Write a post-mortem letter of instructions to your spouse and beneficiaries. The letter should (1) specify your funeral wishes, (2) list all of your financial accounts and (3) let heirs know where your will, tax returns and other key documents are located. It will help ensure that your estate’s assets won’t be wasted on taxes and administrative costs that could have been avoided.

2. Create a durable power of attorney. This way, if you or your spouse becomes incapacitated, the person appointed will be able to make financial decisions on your behalf. It’s also a good idea to have (1) a living will, to detail your wishes concerning life-prolonging medical procedures, and (2) a health-care power of attorney, naming somebody to make medical decisions if you are incapacitated.

3. Consider putting any vacation property in another state in a revocable living trust, so that your estate won't end up going through probate in two different states. (Check with your attorney to make sure this is a good idea under the law of your state.)

4. If you have a large estate, give away money to your heirs now. You can give $11,000 per year ($22,000 per married couple), to each donee (with no limit on the number of donees) without incurring gift tax liability.

TIP: Before acting on any of these suggestions, please contact us for professional guidance.