If you have assets, and especially if you have a family, you need a plan for your estate. These Estate planning documents set out your end of life wishes and give decision-making abilities to those you trust. These documents specify how your property is distributed upon your death and names the legal guardian of your minor children. An estate plan is more than just a will. An estate plan consists of these documents:
A Last Will and Testament is the most essential document to your estate plan. This document names where your assets go after your passing. This document will also name guardians for your minor children and how you plan to care for them after your death. You may give your property and heirlooms to specific persons. A well drafted Last Will and Testament can prevent disputes within your family.
A Trust is a document which allows you to set aside money and property for a wide variety of purposes. You may put aside money for your children or family members to be protected from someone else who may attempt to use the money or property for other purposes.
Powers of Attorney are documents which name a person or persons you trust to handle your affairs when you cannot do so yourself. These documents allow your trusted person to use your money to pay necessary bills or expenses that arise while you are seeking care or unable to make these payments yourself. Powers of Attorney may be effective immediately or upon your incapacity, and may last for a definite or indefinite amount of time.
A Medical Directive is also known as a medical power of attorney or a “living will.” This document gives a trusted person the authority to make medical decisions on your behalf, and states your wishes about life-saving care.