Randy Gugino’s $350 Estate Planning Legacy Folder
My office is offering a healthcare proxy, a will, a living will, and a power of attorney all in a legacy folder, at a cost of only $350. This is a limited-time offer that expires on September 30, 2017.
A will allows you to establish to whom you want your assets to go so that the state will not make those decisions for you. As part of your will, you can appoint an executor, a guardian for any children you may have, and trustees for the assets of certain beneficiaries of your will, such as children or disabled adults. A will is a fundamental document to have.
A healthcare proxy is a person whom you designate to make health-related decisions on your behalf in the event that a doctor believes that you are incapacitated and not able to make these decisions yourself. Situations like this can arise unexpectedly, and it is not appropriate to wait until you are in the hospital before making a designation; it is better to have this done well in advance. Attached to the healthcare proxy is a living will. A living will sets forth certain things that you do not want to happen in the event that a doctor is prescribing health-related measures that you do not feel are appropriate. The fourth document that you need is the power of attorney, which helps you to designate individuals to take care of your financial affairs if you are incapacitated. Our package includes the will, the healthcare proxy, the living will, and the power of attorney, all together in the legacy folder that we have assembled.
Our office has provided consultation for clients who have no idea which assets that their parents have or to which benefits that the clients themselves are entitled. It is difficult at that stage to start to put together information on the behalf of the parents. The legacy folder indicates all the individuals who will be relevant to your end-of-life care; your executor, your guardians, and your trustees are all set forth in the legacy folder. There is space available in the legacy folder for copies of all of these documents, so that they are immediately accessible if something unfortunate happens.
In addition, the legacy folder can contain information relating to your financial accounts, such as banking accounts, IRAs, and 401(k)s. Any financial information that you need is listed right here for your executor to find easily. By including this information in your legacy folder, your executor will not have to wait for information to be sent from the bank or through the mail, and your spouse will not have to search through all of your belonging at home to locate these documents.
The folder can also include your real estate information, such as your investments, your real property, your deed, your title search, your mortgage, or your home equity loan. All this information, plus your insurance policies, is going to be set forth in the petition. If you have designated beneficiaries, the beneficiaries are going to be listed along with the name of your insurance company, your policies, and the amounts of the coverage within the document itself and copies of your policies. If you are not in a position to provide this information yourself due to illness or incapacitation, your executor and your loved ones are going to have all this information in one location.
We include a log for your monthly expenses in the legacy folder. It might seem peculiar to have monthly expenses listed in this log at first glance. However, you are suddenly unable to make legal decisions, your loved ones are going to have to determine where to send the mortgage and home equity payments, when to send the car payments, when the homeowner’s insurance is due, when the property taxes must be paid, and all other matters that you normally are responsible for fulfilling. All this information will be included in the legacy folder so that your proxy, your power of attorney, will be able to acquire this information without having to search for it.
In addition to the above, we incorporate information with regard to safety deposit boxes, banking accounts, passwords, and combinations. If you have a lock box or a safe at home, information about how to access the items inside is going to be in the legacy folder. This way, if something happens your executor, your loved one will be able to access that information without any difficulty. We recommend that you provide information about your funeral or burial expenses in your will, but in case you have not done so, you may include that information in the legacy folder. If you have made arrangements or prepaid for your funeral or burial expenses, all that information is in the petition in the legacy folder as well.
On a personal note, we always include a page for you to provide notes for your loved ones—little mementos for them, so to speak, of things that you want to say to them once you have passed. That information will be available to help them endure this difficult time. For the cost of $350, you have a will, a healthcare proxy, a power of attorney, a living will, and storage for all your personal and financial documents. This folder will allow you to be able to better keep track of the information that your executor, your power of attorney, your health proxy, or your loved one is going to need if you are unable to make decisions on your own behalf.
This educational video was provided by Randy H. Gugino, an experienced Buffalo Estate Planning Attorney. If you have questions about a will, health care proxy, or power of attorney, we would be happy to help. Please contact our office for a free initial consultation. Let our experience work for you.