Estate Plans

"Estate Folders"

An estate folder is a folder that you can (and should) create to help your loved ones after your death. It's essentially a folder outlining your assets, debts, and bills, enabling your survivors to handle your estate much more quickly and easily. Specifically, this is to help them terminate all accounts in your name, pay any outstanding debts you have, and collect all of your assets so that your estate can be handled properly. Additionally, it's a useful tool to take stock of your circumstances in terms of budgeting and planning for the future. 

Is my living will still valid?

Living wills have been around for a long time, but most people were very careless about creating or maintaining these essential documents. That changed in 2005 due to the highly publicized Terry Schiavo case. Since that time, many people have created living wills - often through forms they've been given by friends, their church, or that they've found online. If you have a living will made through any of these forms, and something happens to you, the hospital caring for you (and if necessary, the courts) WILL try to honor the wishes expressed in those documents. 

But you shouldn't have a living will at all.