Where is your money going when you die? Who takes care of the dog if you go up yonder? Who decides when it’s time to “pull the plug if you fall into a coma?” THESE ARE ALL QUESTIONS THAT WE NEED TO ANSWER BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE. The future is uncertain, friends. You never know when it may be too late so let’s start answering those questions now.

Join Syd for S2 Ep11 Making Money Moves Part III: How to Build a Comprehensive Estate Plan as she sits down with Attorney Delania Barbee, who answers all the important questions on how to best prepare yourself and your loved ones for your death or incapacity. 

Delania Barbee, Esq. is the Founder and Managing Attorney of Barbee Law Boutique, PLLC  where she helps entrepreneurs build and protect their businesses and legacies with solid business foundations and estate planning. She is also host of the Laws of Legacy Podcast and the Practicing While Black Podcast.

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**The information shared during this episode is for general education purposes only. No information shared on this show is legal advice. Speak to a lawyer if you have questions about your specific situation.



What is an estate plan?

It is a plan that sets forth your intentions for how you wish to protect yourself, your stuff and your loved ones in the event that you die or become incapacitated.

Do I need an estate plan if I don’t own real estate?

Yes, you don’t need to own any real estate in order to have an estate plan. When it comes to estate planning, an estate consists of all money, property or other assets that a person may own in life or at the time of their death. 

Does my estate have to be valued at a certain dollar amount to need an estate plan?

No, there is no minimum asset or dollar amount threshold for having an estate plan. Even if you don’t own anything, you should still have an estate plan. Estate planning also includes incapacity planning, which refers to a plan you put in place for what happens to you in the event you become incapacitated? 

What documents do you need to include in your estate plan for the purposes of incapacity planning?

  • A healthcare power of attorney—appoints an agent to act on your behalf in the event that you become incapacitated.
  • HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) Release—gives your loved ones legal permission to access your health records
  • Advanced Healthcare Directive (aka living will) – A document that outlines your medical wishes in the event of your incapacity (i.e. when and if to pull the plug if you fall into a coma)
  • General Power of Attorney – designates an agent to handle your affairs (i.e. grants someone the authority to continue to pay your bills in the event that you’re unable to do so on your own)

What documents do you need to include in your estate plan to dispose of your assets when you die?

  • Will—a written instrument that provides instructions on how to divide your assets upon your death. This is a private document that is filed with a court and requires interpretation and validation by a probate court before it will be enforced.
  • Trust –a legal agreement that allows a third party, a trustee, to hold and direct assets on behalf of a beneficiary. This is a private document that does not require interpretation or validation by a probate court.

If I don’t own an asset outright when I die (for example, my house still has a mortgage), can I still pass that asset on to my loved ones? Yes

If I have limited resources or funds, what documents are most important for me to have drafted first?

If you can afford to at least sit down with an attorney, you should first invest in a consultation with a lawyer in your state who can provide you with state-specific advice based on your individual situation. If you can’t afford to sit down with an attorney:

  • Start documenting and organizing all of your assets. If something happens to you, it will be very helpful to your family to have a document outlining all of your assets, insurance policies, bank accounts…etc. and where they can find all appropriate documents associated with your ownership in those assets.
  • Designate beneficiaries on all of your accounts (bank, investment, retirement…etc) to ensure that they automatically pass to your loved ones upon your death.


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Hosts & Guests

Sydnee Mack (Host)

Delania Barbee, Esq. (Guest)


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