1.     Last Will and Testament (or Revocable Living Trust)
    will or testament is a legal declaration by which you designate one or more 
    persons to manage your estate and provides for the transfer of your property at 
    death.  (You can get samples from the Library or from www.uslegalforms.
    com/dave.)  A living trust is an estate planning tool designed to avoid probate while 
    providing long-term property management. The term "revocable" means that you 
    may revoke or terminate the living trust at any time. A "living" document allows you 
    to continually edit and update it while you are alive.

2.     Durable Power of Attorney (DPA) and Health Care Power of Attorney
    DPA is a document that allows you to give authority to another person to make 
    financial/legal decisions and financial transactions on your behalf.  It is called 
    “durable” when, by its terms, it remains effective even if you become mentally 
    incompetent.  A Durable Health Care Power of Attorney is a document that appoints 
    someone else to make decisions regarding your medical care. (These are not 
    complicated and can be obtained from www.uslegalforms.com/dave.)

3.     
Living Will
    Generally, a living will describes which treatments you do or do not want applied to 
    you in the event you either suffer from a terminal illness or are in a permanent 
    vegetative state. A living will does not become effective unless you are incapacitated; 
    until then you'll be able to say what treatments you do or don't want.  (Free – get it 
    from Hospice)

4.     
Video of Home and Contents
    On video record and speak of items’ values and when purchased.  This is needed in 
    the event of a fire, tornado, breaking and entering, etc.  If no video, photograph 
    each room, closet and storage area of your home and prepare a detailed written list 
    of household and personal items along with copies of receipts (if possible).  In the 
    event of fire or theft, you cannot be too specific.  (Store video, photos and/or lists 
    away from premises.)

5.     
Checking, Savings, Certificates of Deposit, Stock Accounts, etc.
    should be set up with Right of Survivorship. If two or more people own property 
    jointly with rights of survivorship and one of the owners should die, the deceased 
    owner's share of the property automatically passes to the surviving owner(s).

6.     
Life Insurance Policy Riders, Clauses and Provisions

      a.      Accelerated Death Benefit Rider
    Many companies allow you to add an “Accelerated Death Benefit Rider,” even 
    after being diagnosed terminally ill. Simply stated, if you are diagnosed 
    terminally ill, some companies will advance you part of the death benefit while 
    you are alive.  Some companies will even “pay” a portion of the death benefit if 
    you are admitted to a nursing home and are not able to perform two or more 
    of the activities of daily living (bathing, feeding, dressing, moving about, 
    toileting (getting on and off the commode, etc.) or continence.  Of course, any 
    amount “advanced” will reduce the benefit payable upon death.

        b.     Short-term Survivorship/Common Disaster Clause
    States that the beneficiary must outlive the insured for a certain number of 
    days before the insurance is payable.  Common Disaster must be from the 
    same accident in order to apply.

        c.     Spendthrift Provision
    Protects beneficiary who is known for being unable to handle money well. It is 
    designed to prevent them from spending their money too quickly on 
    unimportant items and then having nothing left to live on. It also prevents the 
    creditors of a beneficiary from claiming any of the benefits before the 
    beneficiary actually receives the money. The purpose of this clause is to keep 
    those to whom he/she is in debt from taking legal action to require the insurer 
    to pay the proceeds directly to them.

        d.     Contingent and Tertiary Beneficiary(ies)
    A tertiary beneficiary is only entitled to proceeds if the primary and secondary 
    (contingent) beneficiaries are no longer living.

7.      
Leave Directions to Loved Ones:

       a.     Where assets are located, such as retirement plans, Social Security,
    investments, name of insurance company(ies) for life insurance along with 
    policy number(s), etc.

       b.     Bills that need to be paid and when they are due.

       c.      Name of Life, Health, Disability, Long-term Care Insurance Companies, etc.,
    giving policy numbers and contacts.  Also include contact information for 
    insurance agency or agent who can assist in filing claims.

    In the event the life insurance company has been, or is being, bought out by 
    another company, and the only information you have is the company name on 
    the original policy, you can get the company name of its new ownership and 
    contact information from the Department of Insurance by calling 1-800-546-
    5664.

       d.      Funeral arrangements, i.e. cremation, etc.  Provide funeral/burial details and
    wishes, if any.

     e.       Names, addresses and/or telephone numbers of individuals who should be
    notified upon your death.
Posted 10:58 AM  View Comments

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