Last time, we talked about Revocable Living Trusts and how they work for you both while you’re alive and in the event of death. Today, we’re going to talk about one of the most important documents that you should have in addition to a Will ,Life Insurance and a Revocable Living Trust that being a Durable Power of Attorney. Suze Orman says these are the three most important documents that a person should have. A lawyer who specializes in estate planning can help create the three must-have documents listed above. Let’s take a look at what exactly a Power of Attorney is.
Durable Power of Attorney: your representative in the case that you become ill and it prevents you from communicating.
- You can appoint anyone to be your agent– a spouse, friend, adult child etc..
- having this document does not guarantee that a doctor will automatically follow your wishes, especially, if it contradicted what,in their views, was a preferable alternative approach
- To think this choice out carefully. Your agent should be someone you trust and someone who will carry out your wishes faithfully, even in the face of objections from family or medical advisers
- Once you settle on an agent it is suggested that you let your family know
When looking for a lawyer
you can search for estate attorneys in your area by logging on to www.findlaw.com. Go to the “find a lawyer” search and in the legal issue box, enter ‘Estate.”
Suze says: Ask any lawyer that you find via this search how long they’ve been practicing in the wills and trust field. If, they say anything less than 10 years, find a new attorney. Also, contact the state bar to see if the lawyer you’re considering has any record of being disciplined. If so, find a new lawyer. She recommends talking to three lawyers before settling on one.
What you “want” to hear
- The lawyer specializes in wills and trusts
- The lawyer wants to know all details of your financial life ( a good lawyer will create personalized documents that address your exact financial situation)
- You will be charged a flat fee (no hourly billing)
- The fee includes funding your trust
- The quote includes time to review the entire document — word by word– with you. Remember, power is knowing exactly what you have
So far, we’ve discussed the top three must have important documents in Life Lessons Pt.1-3.
Life Insurance, a Revocable Living Trust and a Durable Power of Attorney are three documents that Finance Guru Suze Orman recommends we have to protect ourselves and our loved ones. In Pt.4 I’ll be discussing a life necessity that i think every person should have for both prevention and to aid costs in the event that something does happen. Stay Tuned and Thanks for Reading!
Stay Ambitious, Stay Motivated!
All knowledge presented here today was taken from Suze Orman’s “Women and Money” book.