If you are taking another look at your existing estate plan, or just starting your planning journey, be sure the following items—in addition to a will—are included to make things easier for you and your loved ones.
Be Sure You Have:
- A high-level overview that lays out the basics of your finances and plan. Include:
- Where to find your will and other documents, and who the key people are—your powers of attorney agents, executors or personal representatives.
- Financial assets (where accounts are held and who owns them).
- Insurance coverage (property/casualty, health, life).
- Property and vehicle information.
- Regular household bills that you pay.
- A detailed description of your finances (account numbers, contacts at financial institutions, etc.).
- A personal property memorandum that is often referenced by your will and states how you want property distributed and/or sold. This allows you to assign sentimental or valuable assets to specific people without having to change your will if you change your mind.
- A plan for your pets to ensure that your furry friends are taken care of. A legally binding pet trust can be created, or you can make provisions in your will for how you want your pets cared for in your absence.
- Your digital estate plan, which includes online account details.
- Advance directives, powers of attorney and other end-of-life planning tools to communicate your basic wishes. Add personal messages and detailed plans for your funeral, memorial and other specifics.
- An ethical will, which is your opportunity to hand down your values in a document or video. Think of it as a personal record of your life—how you have lived it and how you want to inspire others.
No Estate Plan? Start Here
Estate planning is a highly personal process of deciding how your assets will be distributed after you are gone. Consider these questions first, then meet with your estate planning attorney to begin putting your wishes into place.
- Who will receive your home? Car? Stocks? Jewelry?
- Who will take care of your children if they are not yet of legal age?
- Do you have relatives, even children, who should not receive assets?
- Are there charities you would like to benefit from your estate?
Explore Your Legacy at an affiliate of the UVM Health Network
Wherever you are in the process, your estate plan is a powerful way to show your love. Please contact Blair Watson, J.D. at 802-585-5266 or Blair.Watson@uvmhealth.org to learn more about including an affiliate of the UVM Health Network in your future plans.