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Do Most People Account For Mental Incapacity In Their Estate Plan?

Most estate plans account for mental incapacity, but do not specify the exact steps that would need to take place in the event of incapacitation. As a result, plans for mental incapacity can be difficult to implement, and the children of an incapacitated parent can experience a rude awakening when the bank refuses to provide them access to their parent’s account. Another common problem is that many financial institutions will not want to deal with old documents, even if the documents are valid. Because of this, it is important to periodically update estate planning documents.

What Does The Personal Representative Have To Do To Settle An Estate?

Personal representatives come into play during probate, which means a judge will be controlling everything. A personal representative follows the state law and the instructions of the court to pay the expenses of the estate, and to publish the personal information of the person who passed away, as well as the names and contact information for the beneficiaries who stand to inherit. All of this information becomes a part of the public record. At the end of the probate process, the court will instruct the personal representative to distribute the remaining assets to the beneficiaries.

What Are The Basic Items In An Estate Plan? What Does Each Item Do?

Depending on what you own and what you are looking for, the basic items in your estate plan could include a will, trust, durable power of attorney, financial health care directive, HIPAA authorization form, living will, and community property agreement. A trust lays out specific instructions that cover some of the real estate and investment accounts, but doesn’t deal with all of the assets. A will is a cleanup provision that ensures that items which were left out of the trust will end up in the trust after you die.

The power of attorney for financial matters is active while you are alive and gives authority to another person to act on your behalf. Once you die, this power of attorney becomes invalid. The advance directive gives another person the ability to make medical decisions on your behalf, and with only a few exceptions, will also become invalid upon your death. HIPAA authorization gives people access to medical information. A living will deals with end-of-life decisions. A community property agreement or a property agreement identifies what property is to be community property and what property is to be separate property. There should always be funding deeds to transfer real estate into the trust.

How Long Does It Generally Take To Put Together A Proper Estate Plan?

The process of putting together a proper estate plan usually involves a minimum of four to five meetings. We will want to review all of the pertinent documents with you and ensure that you understand what is in them. There will be a week or two in between each meeting in order to give you time to read the documents and come up with any questions you might have. I don’t believe it’s possible to craft a thorough and properly understood estate plan after just one or two meetings; sufficient time should be allotted for you to obtain a complete understanding before you sign anything.

For more information on Mental Incapacity Considerations In Estate Plan, a free strategy session is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (916) 674-2066 today.

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