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What Documents Are Needed to Put Your Affairs in Order in Iowa?

What comes to mind when you hear the term “estate planning”? Possibly, you envision long hours spent in an attorney’s office, huddled over stacks of paper and mountains of legalese. In reality, estate planning need not be difficult or time-consuming. For more information on what documents you will need to put your affairs in order in Iowa, please continue reading, then contact an experienced Des Moines estate planning lawyer today.

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What estate planning documents do you need in Iowa?

If you wish to tidy up your affairs, you should make use of the following ten estate planning documents. These documents and their functions are as follows:

  1. Last will and testament
    • Name a guardian for minor children
    • Name a guardian for your pets
    • List all personal property and decide which people/charities you want to receive each asset
    • Name an executor to carry out the terms of your will
  2. Revocable living trust
    • List all personal property and decide which people/charities you want to receive each asset
    • Transfer your personal property into the trust
    • Name a successor trustee to manage your trust after you pass away
  3. Beneficiary designations
    • 401(k) and IRA accounts
    • Life insurance policies
    • Pensions
  4. Advance healthcare directive
    • Outline your medical care preferences in your living will
    • Name a healthcare agent to make important medical decisions for you in your medical power of attorney
  5. Financial power of attorney
    • Choose a financial agent to make important financial decisions for you
    • If you want your agent to donate to charity for you, specify which charities and how much they should receive
  6. Insurance policies/finance information
    • Gather copies of your life, health, car and home insurance policy documents
    • Create a list of your financial accounts and institutions, e.g. bank accounts, credit cards, mortgages and loans
  7. Proof of identity documents
    • Social Security card
    • Birth, marriage and divorce certificates
    • Prenuptial agreements
  8. Titles and property deeds
    • Gather the titles and deeds for your homes, vehicles and real estate and confirm the listed owner is correct
    • If you have established a trust, retitle your property so the trust is the owner
  9. Digital logins and passwords
    • Consider naming a digital executor in  your will
    • Create a list of all your digital assets:
      • Bank and financial accounts
      • Social media and email accounts
      • Logins for streaming services
      • Digital files, like photos and documents
  10. Funeral instructions
    • Create a list of your funeral preferences:
      • Burial, cremation, et cetera
      • What type of service you would prefer
      • Passages you want to be read
      • Preferred charities for donations
      • Whether or not you prefer flowers

As you can see, a great deal goes into settling your affairs, which is why you should avail yourself of one of our skilled Des Moines lawyers today.

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Herting Law, PLLC, is an Iowa-based law firm designed to help with all of your legal needs. Contact Herting Law, PLLC today for help.

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