Estate planning

Everyone has an estate, although many of us don’t think of it that way. Your estate is made up of everything you own, whether it’s a house, a horse, or a handbag. No matter the size of your estate, you want to make sure that the things you own now are given to the people or organizations you care about when you die. The resources listed below will help you identify what’s in your estate and how best to make sure things get distributed according to your wishes.

Estate Planning Resources:
Here are State of Oregon resources and information about estate planning in Oregon.

AARP.org - Estate Planning:
The AARP offers a range of articles about estate planning and related issues such as: necessary legal documents like a living will and a letter of instruction, living trusts, and power of attorney. This is a good starting place.

Nolo.com - Estate Planning:
This is an online source of “plain English” legal documents. For issues related to estate planning, they have a mix of free, downloadable documents and resources, as well as books and software for purchase.

EstatePlanning.com:
This comprehensive site has a wealth of information about the many different ways you can set up your estate (trusts, wills, and legacies, for example) and what issues you need to consider when doing so. They also offer free webinars.

Get Your S**t Together!:
This blogger lost her spouse in an accident and realized how many important things, like wills and passwords, she and her husband hadn’t organized. On her blog she gives you a straightforward approach to estate planning, wills, living wills, and other related topics.

LongTermCare.gov:
While this isn’t directly about your estate, how you plan for your long term care can influence what is left for your inheritors. This site from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is the national clearinghouse for information about long-term care insurance.

Estate Planning Council of Portland:
This is a local non-profit organization for professionals in the estate planning field. However, they also have a helpful publication that walks you through the necessary steps when a loved one dies.

Lots of books have been written to help people navigate the intricacies of estate planning. For a deeper look into this topic, try one of these library resources.