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Key Documents in an Estate Plan

Key Documents in an Estate Plan

| February 15, 2024

Are your estate plan documents in order? In estate planning, it’s important ensure proper management and distribution of your assets. In the event of death, you want your beneficiaries to be worry-free about their financial needs. On the other hand, if you become incapacitated, your hard-earned assets should take care of your financial needs.

Without a plan, your asset distribution can become complicated, leading to potential disputes and financial uncertainties for you and your loved ones.

So, what documents do you require?


A will is a formal documentation of your wishes. It outlines your specific desires, designates your estate executor, and lists your beneficiaries. In the absence of a will, the state may intervene and divide up your estate, in a manner that may not align with your intentions.

Discuss "non-titled" property with your family and incorporate a tangible personal property memorandum in your will, if permitted by the laws in your state, to ease your estate division. Your executor can oversee probate, initiate proceedings, manage assets, notify creditors, settle debts, and distribute your property as instructed.

Health Care Proxy

Designate someone to make medical decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated. This legal document ensures that a trusted individual, known as your proxy, can advocate for your healthcare preferences when you cannot communicate or make decisions.

Durable Financial Power of Attorney

Choose someone to manage your financial matters in the event of incapacity. This legal document grants your designated individual authority to make decisions about your finances, investments, and other monetary affairs. They protect your financial interests should you be unable to handle these matters independently.

Living Will

A Living Will gives explicit directives on the medical treatments you desire or reject when you cannot communicate your wishes. It outlines your preferences for life-sustaining measures, organ donation, and other healthcare interventions. By expressing your choices in advance, a Living Will ensures that your healthcare decisions are honored in critical situations.

HIPAA Release Form

In case of health incapacity, you may want a trusted individual to remain aware and discuss your medical condition with healthcare providers when you’re not able to perform these duties yourself. The HIPAA Release Form grants specific individuals access to your healthcare information, ensuring they can receive and discuss your medical details with healthcare providers. This legal document is crucial for maintaining communication and transparency between designated individuals and medical professionals.

Digital Fiduciary Form

Don’t forget to safeguard your digital assets. These include files across various platforms, from the cloud to your computer or tablet. Your photos, loyalty programs, financial data from bank and investment firms, and accounts on platforms like PayPal, Venmo, eBay, or iTunes all fall under this category as well.

Work with an attorney to designate a "digital fiduciary" with the right to access and manage your digital information. Define the conditions on how they can access that information.

Additionally, have a plan to shut down your "online" presence. Outline the steps for deactivating or closing accounts on social media platforms, email services, and other online accounts. Ensure your digital fiduciary can manage your digital footprint according to your wishes.

Add A Legacy Contact for Apple ID

A designated legacy contact ensures a seamless transfer of your digital assets and accounts in the event of incapacity or death. They manage your digital presence according to your wishes, simplifying the transition of your digital legacy. Their work entails accessing and overseeing assets like photos and documents, facilitating communication about account status, and aiding in the security of your devices.

The SKG Team is Here to Help

Contact any member of the SKG Team to answer any questions you might have about key documents in your estate plan. We have handled many of these decisions for people throughout the years and we’re happy to help you and your loved ones as well.

Estate Planning services are provided working in conjunction with your Estate Planning Attorney, Tax Attorney and/or CPA. Consult them for specific advice on legal and tax matters.  CRN202507-5932242