A while ago you were kind enough to enable us to have a list of necessary information for my will and executor after I am gone....is there any possibility I can still access this and furnish my classmates in elder law class also? Thank you,

Terry Says:

I’m wondering if you’re referring to my Personal Financial Organizer, which anyone can get by filling out the yellow box on my website — and then waiting for a confirming email.  When you click on that email, you’ll get a second email with a link to the Organizer form.  On it you list your credit cards, banking and investment accounts, advisors names and contact numbers, cemetery plot, military separation papers, etc.   You can fill it out online and save it on your computer or print out copies. Then, in an emergency, your family would know where everything is.    BUT, this is not a substitute for a will, which is a legal document.

I always suggest that you contact an estate planning attorney and start by asking about a Revocable Living Trust.  This is better than a will, because if you are incapacitated (think stroke, or Alzheimers’s) your designated successor trustee can handle your property and other issues, without going to court.  Of course, you must transfer title to major property — home, investment accounts, savings accounts —  into the name of your Revocable Living Trust.  That’s an easy process of notifying your accounts and providing them with documentation that your estate planning attorney will give you.  There is no tax implication to changing title, and you can still buy and sell assets named in the trust, reporting any gains on your own tax return.

In addition, you should have a Healthcare Power of Attorney and a Living Will (end-of-life instructions).  Your estate planning attorney will handle all of this for you as part of the planning package.

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