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Creating the Right Plan for You: Demystifying Estate Planning Documents

Creating the Right Plan for You: Demystifying Estate Planning Documents

Update: 2020-09-10


Show Notes:
Landerholm Family Law’s Associate Attorney, Triston Dallas, breaks down the most common components of an estate plan.

An estate plan is an amalgamation of documents that are put together by an attorney on behalf of a client to explain how you would like your estate to be managed upon your death or incapacitation. Included in those documents are things such as a will, a trust, a power of attorney, an advanced directive, a letter of intent, or a disposition of remains. 

It's important to make sure that your will, your trust, your insurances, and other aspects of your estate plan coincide and are in line with everything else in your life. For example, if you have life insurance, retirement, a home, a vacation home, etc,  you need to make sure that your documents, and the ownership or the rights into those properties of those assets, are in line with what and how you wrote your estate plan.

When you die with a will, it will go through probate, which is the process of the court administering your will, making sure all of your assets are together and accounted for, and then dispersing those assets according to your wishes.

There are two main types of trusts: a revocable living trust, and an irrevocable trust. The biggest differences are that a revocable living trust can be changed anytime, whereas an irrevocable trust cannot be changed without a court order. This is because the assets that are in an irrevocable trust are no longer considered your assets or part of your estate—they belong to the trust, therefor you do not have the right of ownership to act on those assets without permission from the court. Irrevocable living trusts, while offering less flexibility to make changes, allow people to disclaim an asset from their estate, which can have tax benefits, or protect that asset from creditors.

A power of attorney grants another individual the ability to act as if they were you, in the event that you became incapacitated, or when you feel is necessary. This person can then act on your behalf to manage pay your bills, your debts, manage all your assets and make sure that your day to day life doesn't stop because you're not able to take action.

An advanced directive is similar to a power of attorney, but applies solely to healthcare decisions. Whereas a power of attorney makes choices for your financial endeavors, an advanced directive would make decisions such as when to take you off life support, etc.

If you would like to speak with one of our family law attorneys regarding your unique family law matter, call our office at (503) 227-0200 to schedule a free consultation, or visit our website at


Disclaimer: Nothing in this communication is intended to provide legal advice nor does it constitute a client-attorney relationship, therefore you should not interpret the contents as such. If you require legal assistance, you can call our office to set up a consultation with one of our seasoned family law attorneys.

Creando el Plan Adecuado para Usted: Desmitificando los Documentos de la Planificación Patrimonial

Si desea hablar con uno de nuestros abogados de derecho de familia con respecto a su caso único, llame a nuestra oficina al (503) 227-0200 para programar una consulta gratis o visite nuestro sitio web haciendo click en el siguiente enlace.

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Creating the Right Plan for You: Demystifying Estate Planning Documents

Creating the Right Plan for You: Demystifying Estate Planning Documents

with Triston Dallas