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  • Writer's picturePaul B. Plant

Tips to Get Your Affairs in Order

Updated: Jun 30, 2023

In these very uncertain times, we all are aware that death or disability can come upon us at any time. If we are not prepared for that, then the burden on us and our family is significantly increased.


Here are just a few tips to help us all try to be prepared.


  1. Make or update your estate plan. An estate plan is the baseline in preparedness. At our office, we consider an estate plan to consist of a Last Will and Testament or a Living Trust, each of which allow you to determine who gets your assets after your death; a Durable Power of Attorney, which we believe may be the most important part of an estate plan, letting you name someone to take care of affairs in the event that you become disabled but are still alive; a Power of Attorney for Healthcare, allowing you to name someone to speak to your healthcare providers and to make decisions for you if you ever reach the point where you can’t along with a Living Will which we include in the Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare.

  2. Consider your beneficiaries. Items that are subject to a contact, such as live insurance, 401Ks, IRAs, and other investments typically have beneficiaries. The funds held by those institutions will be paid to the beneficiaries, no matter what you may say in your Will. It’s very important that you coordinate your Will with your named beneficiary, so that you accomplice what you wish to accomplice. If you have a trust, or need to create a trust, it’s extremely important that it be properly funded. Only those things that actually belong to a trust can avoid probate and provide for a more appropriate disposition of your assets.

  3. Review all your accounts. As stated above it is extremely important that you understand and know who your named beneficiaries are as well who is on your account. It’s important to be aware that if you have a joint account at a bank with one child, the bank is more than likely going to distribute that money to that one child at your death. We suggest that you set up a personal schedule and review your accounts at lease on an annual basis.

  4. Protect your assets. One of the tools we often use to protect your assets from Medicaid recovery is a Medicaid Asset Protection Trust. It is one of several devices that we are familiar with and discuss with you when you visit with us and are concerned about protecting your assets in the event you or your spouse faces nursing home care.

  5. Leave information about your documents. In our office we use a Will preparation workbook, which I ask you for an inventory of your family and of your assets. We suggest you keep this workbook with your Will and keep it up to date, so that you personal representative can see not only the institution in with which you deal but the individual that you deal with there. You also need to keep a list of your important passwords and online accounts in case anybody needs to assist you with them at any time.


We take pride in our estate planning and in our eldercare assistance. If you’d like to discuss your existing estate plan and how it matches with your current situation, please give us a call to set up an appointment.

 

Paul B. Plant, Esq., Harwell & Plant

225 Mahr Ave., Lawrenceburg, TN, 38464

Open: Monday – Thursday 9AM – 5PM | Friday 9AM – 3PM

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