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Though not popular to think about, estate planning for yourself or your loved ones will save time and money in a very difficult time.  There are some forms that can be prepared now take the stress off of a very stressful and trying time. 

What to do?

Take the time to have a conversation with your loved ones and discuss and fill out the recommended forms. 

It is normal to be met with apprehension and procrastination but be persistent. 

Documents needed:

  • Transfer on Death. Avoid having your property going through the probate process by completing a transfer on death deed. A transfer on death deed allows you to select a beneficiary who will receive your property, but only when you've passed away.

  • Living Will. Allows one to put in writing exactly what you want done in the event you cannot speak for yourself when it comes to healthcare decisions.

  • Durable Power of Attorney. Allows one to designate a person to make legal decisions if one is no longer competent to do so. 

  • Power of Attorney for Healthcare. This document allows one to designate someone to make healthcare decisions for their person.

  • Last Will and Testament. Designates to whom personal belongings will go to. 

  • Funeral Planning Declaration. Allows one to say exactly one’s wishes as far as disposition of the body and the services.

If the above documents are done, you can AVOID probate. If all the above is not done, you have to open an estate account at the bank. All money that doesn’t have direct beneficiaries goes into this account. You have to have an attorney to open the estate account. The attorney also has to publicize your passing in the newspaper or post publication at the county courthouse, to allow anyone to make a claim on your property.



  • Make a list of all banks and account numbers, all investment institutions with account numbers, lists of credit cards, utility accounts, etc. Leave clear instructions as to how and when these things are paid. Make sure heirs knows where life insurance policies are located.

  • Make 100% sure SOMEONE knows your Apple ID, bank ID account logins and passwords!

  • Make sure you have titles for all vehicles, campers, etc!

  • Talk with those closest to you and make all your wishes KNOWN. Talk to those whom you’ve designated, as well as those close to you whom you did not designate.

  • Do this to explain why your decisions were made and to avoid any lingering questions or hurt feelings.

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