- What is included in an "estate"?
- Should I appoint a guardian for my children?
- What documents should be included in my estate plan?
To put it simply, your estate is everything that you own, whether in the U.S. or overseas. It can include:
- Your home and other real estate
- Interests you hold in a business
- Your portion of a joint account
- Retirement accounts
- Life insurance
- Property owned by a trust that you control
If your children are minors, designating a guardian (or guardians) is a very good idea. Also, you should name an alternate guardian in case your first choice cannot serve or is not appointed by the court.
Because every situation is unique, you should consult an experienced estate planning attorney to determine the precise strategies to meet your needs, and to prepare the necessary documents. Important estate planning documents include:
- A Will (at the very least)
- A Living Trust
- A Pour-Over Will
- A Durable Power of Attorney for Property
- A Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care
- A Living Will
- An HIPAA Authorization Form