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​Methods & Documents Questionnaire

methods & documents questionnaire

​​​What Will Be Your Legacy?

Create peace of mind with a plan that secures your legacy, preserves hard earned assets and passes them on to the ones you love.

Methods & Documents Questionnaire

​1. If your goal is to distribute property, name guardians for minor children, name executors to administer your estate, and go through probate: use a Last Will & Testament. 

2. If your goal is to control the distribution and disbursement of property, avoid probate and reduce estate taxes you can use the following tools: 

         a. Revocable Living Trust w/pour over will. 

         b. Create Joint Ownership of property. 

         c. Life Insurance policy naming beneficiaries. 

         d. Retirement Accounts and/or Pension Plans

         e. Payable on Death Bank Accounts. 

         f. Gifts 

Note: Joint Ownership, Life Insurance, Retirement Accounts and or Pension Plans, Payable on Death Bank Accounts and Gifts are not estate planning documents but are methods used to distribute property and avoid probate that should be set up independently and incorporated into your estate plan. All of these methods are highly recommended.  

Joint Ownership of Property with rights of Survivorship 

Jointly held property automatically transfers to the surviving joint owners. This method is most commonly used with real estate and bank accounts. 

Note: For joint ownership of real estate, the title must be changed to reflect joint ownership.    

Life Insurance Policy naming beneficiaries

A life insurance policy is highly recommended. Life insurance provides immediate cash to the beneficiaries without going through probate.  The beneficiaries can be people or trusts. 

Retirement Accounts and/or Pension Plans

These types of accounts, like life insurance, provide immediate cash to the beneficiaries without going through probate. 

Payable on Death Bank Accounts

This method only requires you to add a pay on death designation to a bank account.  Upon death the bank account transfers to the named beneficiary. 


Gifts given prior to death are the most basic way of distributing property.  Note that the Federal law assesses a gift tax on all gifts over $12,000 that you give to any person in a given year unless the recipient is your spouse or another exemption applies. To avoid gift taxes, one could give $12,000 worth of gifts per year, per recipient. Gifts can be money or property. 

3. If your goal is to address healthcare concerns you can use the following tools: 

        a. Financial Power of Attorney

        b. Healthcare Power of Attorney

        c. Living Will 

In preparing your estate plan, you will use a combination of the above tools. Legal Estate Plan provides you with the documents and information necessary to create a customized estate plan that satisfies your needs. 

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Amenta Law Firm

An Estate Planning & Elder Law Practice

​If You have an Estate Planning Or Elder  Law Question Contact Us today!

No matter what your elder law or estate planning goals are, we will work with you to make sure they are achieved. As your advisor and partner, we will meet with you, outline your goals, draft your documents and help you execute your plan. Contact us today to discuss your estate planning and elder law issues.

If you have any questions after the plan is in place, we are only a phone call, email or office visit away. In addition, if you sign up for our monthly newsletter, we will provide you with news updates, advice and tips regarding elder law and estate planning issues.   Contact us today to discuss your estate planning and elder law issues.