Created: June 29, 2022
Modified: September 22, 2022

Episode 73: What Documents Do You Need for Estate Planning?

What documents would you need for estate planning? There are three main documents we suggest having if you’re going to undergo preparing an estate plan.

Create A Will

You need to have a will when estate planning. Many people say, “Well, I don’t necessarily need a will, everything I have has a beneficiary or maybe a joint owner,”. Be that as it may, but we do suggest having a will. If you pass away without one, it’s called dying intestate, and the state that you live in must decide where your money goes. It’s going to be a much simpler and easier process if you have a will.

A Living Will

A living will doesn’t necessarily concern the assets that you have, but more of from a health care standpoint. What are the instances where you do or do not want to have extraordinary measures taken to possibly keep you alive? Who would be the person to make decisions on your behalf if you were incapacitated and could not make those decisions on your own?

Durable Power of Attorney

A durable power of attorney is another document we suggest having for estate planning. This could be very important. A power of attorney designates someone, often a spouse, to act on your behalf, sign your name in place of you and make decisions for you. Having a durable power of attorney means that even if you become incapacitated, that power of attorney is still valid and can still be used. There are measures from an estate planning or a Medicaid planning standpoint, where you’d need to have a durable power of attorney in place ahead of time. If you didn’t already have one, you couldn’t get one at that point and some of the measures that you could’ve taken are essentially off the table.

What About Trusts?

People ask us, “Should I be doing a trust? Where could that make sense?” and it depends on the situation. Most often, a trust would give you some type of asset control from beyond the grave, if you desire to have that. Maybe you have an adult child that you’d certainly want to give the assets to, but you’re not confident they would make the right decisions with the money. A trust would enable you to control the money from beyond the grave. Maybe you have property in multiple states. Instead of going to probate within each state, you might want to own those properties within a trust. There could be other, more extensive reasons to possibly have a trust in your estate plan.

Thanks for joining me and I hope you found this information helpful!

P.S. If you enjoyed this topic and want to learn more, download your FREE copy of our  “Estate Planning Checklist”.

P.P.S. Feel free to submit questions here for a chance to have them answered!

  • Sandy and Thomas C.
    Sandy & Thomas C. are clients of Johnson Brunetti and received no compensation for their statement.

    “We always felt our financial needs were in very capable hands. Alex Angst is great to work with. Our advisor always made us feel he had our best interests at heart and explained things so we could understand them.”

  • Robert G.
    Robert G. is a client of Johnson Brunetti and received no compensation for his statement.

    “We’ve been clients of Johnson-Brunetti for > 10 years. We’re enjoying a comfortable retirement as a result. Many thanks to Joel and our CFP, Eric Hogarth. I wish we had plugged into this decade approach back when we were in our 30s.”

  • Lisa D.
    Lisa D. is a client of Johnson Brunetti and received no compensation for her statement.

    “Working with Johnson Brunetti has had a positive impact on my life by providing me with the knowledge, confidence, and peace of mind to move forward with my retirement plans. The process of getting to this point, through their guidance, has been informative and pleasurable.”

  • Ken D.
    Ken D. is a client of Johnson Brunetti and received no compensation for his statement.

    “I view your company as one that puts my interests first. I think that is very uncommon and very refreshing. “

  • Jeanne P.
    Jeanne P. is a client of Johnson Brunetti and received no compensation for her statement.

    “Matt does an awesome job! So easy to understand and he listens to our concerns and addresses them! happy I chose your firm!”

  • Anonymous
    This testimonial was provided by a client of Johnson Brunetti and received no compensation for their statement.

    “I have been pleased with the help and service I have received from the company. I have met several team members on Eric’s team and have found all of them very well prepared to meet with me when reviewing my portfolio. I always feel that I am an important customer and appreciate that very much. I hope the firm continues to focus on the customer and maintains its great service. I think you do a great job for someone like me!!!! I’m happy I chose your firm!”

    Johnson Brunetti
    Welcome to Our New Website!
    Everything was designed with you in mind, making our retirement planning resources more easily accessible to you.
    Check out your new resource center, where everything can be organized by article type or topic
    Are you ready to speak with a financial advisor?
    Johnson Brunetti

    Investment Advisory Services offered through JB Capital, LLC.
    Insurance Products offered through JN Financial, LLC.
    Atlanta • Boston • Hartford | Tel: 800-208-7233

    JB Capital LLC is a federally registered investment adviser under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. Registration as an investment adviser does not imply any level of skill or training. Information presented is for educational purposes only and is not intended as an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any specific securities, investments, or investment strategies.

    JB Capital's Form ADV | Disclaimer | Privacy Notice | Client Relationship Summary

    *Information about our Affiliation with the UConn Huskies

    Johnson Brunetti is a sponsor of WFSB Better Money, WCVB Better Money Boston, WSB-TV Better Money Atlanta, WTNH Money Wisdom, and WTIC Money Wisdom.