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What documents do you need in your Alabama Estate Plan?

Posted by Joseph Britt | Aug 21, 2023

In order to create a comprehensive Alabama Estate Plan, there are 3 areas that need to be addressed, (1) how to distribute assets after death (2) healthcare decisions (3) incapacity.

  1. Last Will & Testament or Trust.  In order to distribute assets after death, an Estate Plan will need to consist of a Last Will & Testament or a Living Trust, or both.  Having a proper Will can relieve your beneficiaries from having to file an inventory with the Probate Court, purchase a bond, or having to ask permission for certain transactions.  A Trust may even be able to avoid probate altogether.  Addressing how to distribute your property and assets after death is crucial to your estate plan and can relieve some stress from your beneficiaries in what will already be a troubling time.
  2. Healthcare Directive. The second issue to address in your Estate Plan is what your wishes are pertaining to specific healthcare situations.  A Healthcare Directive allows you to make healthcare decisions in the event you are unable to in the future.  This not only ensures that your wishes are carried out but also removes stress from your family and friends.  In the event that a specific situation is not addressed, your healthcare directive also appoints someone who you trusts to make decisions.
  3. Incapacity.  Lastly, planning for incapacity is another important function of your estate plan.  If you become incapacitated, you need to ensure that bills will be paid, businesses ran, and other financial affairs taken care of.  A Durable Power of Attorney will appoint someone who you trust to take care of your financial affairs.  The Power of Attorney will give your chosen agent the right to sign financial documents on your behalf.  Without a Power of Attorney, your friends and family may be forced to petition the Court for a Guardianship/Conservatorship just to make sure important bills are getting paid.  This process not only takes time, but also costs money which could have been prevented with a proper estate plan.

Addressing these three main issues are crucial to having an effective Estate Plan.  However, every situation is different.  If you have any questions or are ready to make sure your family, friends, and assets are protected, call Britt Law Firm at 256-272-1026 for a free consultation.

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Britt Estate Planning & Probate is committed to answering your questions about Estate Planning, Probate, and Estate Administration issues in Alabama. We offer consultations and we'll gladly discuss your case with you at your convenience. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.