Proper Estate Planning Can Protect You, Your Family & Your Assets!


Estate Planning Basics
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Publisher: Enodare

Pub. Date: January 2014

ISBN: 978-1-906144-55-5

Format: e-book

Edition: Third

Country: United States

Pages: 202

Forms: 1


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Without An Estate Plan, You & Your Family May Be Left Helpless.....


“Estate planning may be described as the process of providing for the future management of your affairs should the time come when you are unable to do so yourself. It is also the means by which you arrange your affairs in a manner that will maximize the value of your estate passing to your desired beneficiaries following your death.” [Extract from Estate Planning Essentials]


If you don't have a comprehensive estate plan, or indeed any plan at all, these are just some of the things that you should expect:



  • A Depletion In The Value Of Your Assets - if you become incapacitated prior to your death, your family (including your spouse) may be left powerless to manage and deal with your assets without a durable power of attorney. This can cause a depletion in the value of your assets and prevent assets from being sold to pay for your healthcare costs (if necessary);

  • Your Family Having To Make Difficult Medical Decisions - Without a Living Will or a Healthcare Power of Attorney you will not be able to appoint someone you trust to make medical decisions on your behalf or instruct your medical teams regarding your desired medical treatment. All these decisions will fall to a family member chosen in accordance with state law and not your preferences. In the absence of being able to give them specific instructions, they may not make the decisions you want;


  • No Control Over How Your Assets Are Distributed - unless you have a Last Will & Testament your assets will be distributed in accordance with your state's intestacy laws and any wishes that you have will be ignored;


  • Payment of Unnecessary Probate Fees & Long Delays - if you allow your most valuable assets to go through probate, the value of your estate may be substantially depleted due to high probate fees incurred. Moreover, most of your assets will be frozen during the probate process and your beneficiaries may have to wait months or years to receive their inheritances. By having a Revocable Living Trust in your estate plan, you could avoid these fees and delays!


  • No Control Over Who Cares For Your Children – a court will decide who is appointed as guardian of your children;


  • No Long Term Property Management Arrangements For Your Children – you can only make these arrangements using a last will or a living trust. In the absence of making these provisions, a court will appoint a guardian of its choosing to manage any inheritances that your children might receive.


  • No Control Over Who Wraps Up Your Affairs – state intestacy laws will determine who is appointed as your personal representative and who will be responsible for closing your estate.



To help you easily understand the estate planning process, our lawyers have put together a plain English and easy to understand book on estate planning. It's called "Essential Estate Planning".


  • Overview
  • Table of Contents
  • Forms
  • Requirements

Essential Estate Planning is a must read for anyone who doesn’t already have a comprehensive estate plan. It will show you just why you need to have a comprehensive estate plan and how you can prepare one yourself.


You will be introduced to some of the ways in which you can plan your estate and the devices that you can use to do so such as last wills, living wills, living trusts, powers of attorneys, healthcare directives, probate free transfers of assets and so on. You will learn about the probate process, why people are so keen to avoid probate and lots of simple methods you can actually use to do so. You will learn about reducing estate taxes and how best to provide for young beneficiaries and children.


We’ll also talk to you about beneficiaries, children, disinheritance, incapacity, taxes, and much more. We will get you thinking about your own personal situation and how you would like to have your affairs organized – and by the end of the process, you will have a solid understanding of estate planning and the techniques involved.

We will show you how you can:-

  • Provide for the management of your property and affairs during incapacity
  • Understand the means by which you can distribute your assets
  • Reduce estate taxes
  • Simple ways to avoid probate
  • Easily make property management arrangements for young beneficiaries
  • And much more……..


    Estate Planning Basics  


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    Act Now - Take The Time To Make An Estate Plan - And Protect You, Your Family and Your Assets!!


    What is Estate Planning?
    What’s Included in Your Estate?
    How to Plan Your Estate
    Do I Need to Plan My Estate?
    Children and Guardians
    Choosing Beneficiaries
    Last Will and Testament
    Revocable Living Trusts
    Executors and Probate
    Assets that Don’t go Through Probate
    Planning for Incapacity – Power of Attorney for Finance and Property
    Planning for Incapacity – Advance Healthcare Directives
    Living Wills
    Healthcare Power of Attorney
    Reducing Taxes on Your Estate
    Funeral Arrangements

    What is a Guardian?
    Sole and Joint Guardians
    Alternate Guardians
    Appointment of a Guardian
    Who Can be a Guardian?
    Should You Appoint Guardians for Your Minor Children?
    What to Consider When Choosing a Guardian for Your Child
    What Happens When No Guardian is Named in Your Will?
    Management of Children’s Property
    Options for Property Management
    Appointment of a Property Guardian
    Uniform Transfer to Minors’ Act
    Individual Child Trusts
    Children’s Pot Trusts
    Providing for Children with Special Needs
    Whom Should You Choose as a Trustee?
    Trustee’s Duties

    Gifting Your Assets
    How to Make a Gift
    Types of Gifts
    Specific Item Gifts
    Cash Gifts (also known as monetary or pecuniary legacies)
    Gift of the Residuary Estate
    Types of Beneficiaries
    Specific Gift Beneficiary
    Alternate Beneficiary
    Residuary Beneficiary
    Who May Not be a Beneficiary?
    Changing Beneficiaries
    Gifts to Spouses
    Community Property States
    Common Law States
    Gifts to Minors
    Unmarried or Same-Sex Couples
    Gifts to Charities
    Failed Gifts
    Imposing Conditions on the Receipt of Gifts
    Disinheriting a Spouse
    Disinheriting a Child
    Matters Affecting the Distribution of Your Assets
    Simultaneous Death
    Homestead Allowance
    Family Allowance for Support
    The Exemption for the Benefit of the Family
    Right to Remain in the Family Home
    Right to Receive Family Residence
    Right to Automobiles
    Right to Reimbursement of Funeral Costs
    Abatement of Assets
    Disclaimed Inheritances
    Finalizing Your Plan
    Lawsuits by Spouses
    Disinheriting Your Children

    About Wills
    Principal Components of a Will
    Types of wills
    Making a Valid Will
    Age of Majority
    Mental Capacity and Undue Influence
    Why Make a Will?
    Alternate Executors
    Overview of Executors’ Duties
    Who Should be Your Executor?
    Executing a Will
    Matters that can Impact Wills
    No Contest Clauses
    Challenging a Will
    Apportionment and Distribution of Assets on Intestacy
    Share of Surviving Spouse
    Share of Descendents
    Share of Parents
    Share of Other Relatives
    Do-it-Yourself Wills
    Do I Need a Lawyer

    What is an Executor?
    What is Probate?
    Who can be Your Executor?
    An Overview of an Executor’s Duties, Powers and Risks
    Powers of an Executor
    Executor’s Liability
    Protecting Your Executor from Liability
    Protection Under the Terms of Your Will
    Obtain the Consent of Beneficiaries
    Take out an Executor’s Insurance Bond
    Obtain the Consent of the Probate Court
    Compensating Your Executor

    What is a Power of Attorney?
    Types of Powers of Attorney
    General Power of Attorney
    Limited Power of Attorney
    Healthcare Power of Attorney
    Ordinary and Durable Powers of Attorney
    Springing Powers of Attorney
    Mutual Powers of Attorney
    Cascading Powers of Attorney
    Capacity to Make a Power of Attorney
    What Does “being incapable or incapacitated” Mean?
    Should I Make a Power of Attorney?
    What Happens Without a Power of Attorney?
    What if You Don’t Think You Need a Power of Attorney?
    Living Trusts
    Joint Tenancy
    The Relationship Between Principal and Agent
    Who Can be an Agent?
    Joint or Joint and Independent Agents
    Alternate Agents
    Scope of an Agent’s Powers
    Duties and Responsibilities of an Agent
    Choosing an Agent
    What Laws Govern My Power of Attorney?
    Witness to a Power of Attorney
    Commencement of a Power of Attorney
    Revocation of a Power of Attorney
    Important Points & Recommendation

    Chapter 7: Advance Medical Directives
    What is an Advance Medical Directive?
    Why do I Need an Advance Medical Directive?
    Living Wills and Their Background
    How Living Wills Work
    What is a Terminal Condition?
    What is a Persistent Comatose Condition?
    What is a Persistent Vegetative Condition?
    What Life Support Choices Do I Have Within My Living Will?
    Should I Make a Living Will?
    State Requirements for Life Sustaining Medical Treatment
    Witness Requirements
    Appointing an Agent to Revoke or Enforce Your Living Will
    Finalizing Your Living Will
    Terminating Advance Directives
    Family Discussions
    Making Your Wishes Known - Legal Vaults™ Wallet Cards
    Healthcare Power of Attorney
    Choosing a Healthcare Agent
    Alternate Healthcare Agent
    Do I Need a Healthcare Power of Attorney and a Living Will?

    Probate Avoidance
    Pay on Death or Transfer on Death Accounts
    Transfer on death securities
    Retirement accounts
    Joint Accounts
    Custodial Accounts
    Savings Bonds
    Life Insurance Proceeds
    Joint Ownership of Property
    Joint Tenancy
    Tenancy by the Entireties
    Tenancy in Common
    Community Property
    Revocable Living Trust
    Gifts During Your Lifetime
    Probate Free Transfers of Assets
    Simplified Transfer Procedures for “Small Estates”

    What are Living Trusts?
    Advantages of Living Trusts
    Disadvantages of Living Trusts
    The Role of the Initial Trustee
    Appointing a Co-Trustee
    Successor Trustees
    The Role of the Successor Trustee
    Role of Successor Trustee During the Incapacity of the Grantor
    Role of Successor Trustee Following the Death of the Grantor
    Fiduciary Duties of the Successor Trustee
    Changing Trustees
    The Beneficiaries of Your Living Trust
    Types of Living Trust
    Living Trust for an Individual
    Living Trusts for Couples
    Transferring Assets to Your Living Trust
    What Assets Should be Put in Your Living Trust?
    Title to Assets Transferred to a Living Trust
    Transferring Property to Your Trust
    Real Estate
    Cars, Boats and Other Vehicles
    Cash Accounts
    United States Savings Bonds
    Broker Accounts
    Publicly Quoted Stocks and Bonds
    Retirement Plans
    Other Property
    Revocation of your Living Trust
    Pour-Over Wills

    Estate Taxes
    Federal Estate and Gift Tax
    Everyone’s “Coupon”
    What is the “Coupon” Amount?
    How to Determine the Estate Tax?
    State Death Tax
    State Death Taxes are Paid by the Estate
    The Recipient Pays State Inheritance Taxes
    “Pick-Up” Taxes
    Marital Deduction
    Non-Citizen Spouses
    Charitable Deductions
    Charitable Remainder Trust
    Charitable Lead Trust
    Other Ways to Reduce Estate Taxes
    Lifetime Gifts
    QTIP Trust
    Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts
    Family Limited Partnerships
    Special Use Real Estate Valuation

    Deciding What Should be in Your Estate Plan
    Management of Your Property and Finances During Incapacity
    Making Healthcare Decisions During Incapacity
    Appoint Guardians for Your Children
    Assemble a List of Your Assets and Liabilities
    Decide Who Will Receive Your Assets
    Decide How and When Your Beneficiaries Will Receive Your Assets
    Choosing People to Be in Charge
    When to Do-it-Yourself and When to Include Lawyers
    Storing Your Documents
    Updating Your Estate Plan

    The following forms are included with this book:-

    Estate Planning Worksheet

  • Estate Planning Worksheet

    Will Forms
  • First will - Unmarried with no children, single beneficiary
  • Second will - Unmarried with no children, multiple beneficiaries
  • Third will - Unmarried with children
  • Fourth will - Married with adult children (for husband)
  • Fifth will - Married with adult children (for wife)
  • Sixth will - Married with minor children (for husband)
  • Seventh will - Married with minor children (for wife)

    Self-Proving Affidavits
  • Self-proving affidavit – Type 1
  • Self-proving affidavit – Type 2
  • Windows

  • 1GHz or faster processor
  • Microsoft® Windows® XP with Service Pack 2 (Service Pack 3 recommended) or Windows Vista® Home Premium, Business, Ultimate, or Enterprise with Service Pack 1 (certified for 32-bit Windows XP and Windows Vista)
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 3.5GB of available hard-disk space for installation; additional free space required during installation (cannot install on flash-based storage devices)
  • 1,024x768 display (1,280x800 recommended) with 16-bit video card
  • CD-ROM drive
  • QuickTime 7.1.2 software required for multimedia features
  • Broadband Internet connection required for online services*

    Windows 7 compatibility

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