When you think about estate planning, your may think that you must have millions in property and assets, with multiple homes cars and businesses. Indeed, that does not describe most of our realities. In fact, we tend to hear about such estates through TMZ when a celebrity dies.
Nevertheless, ordinary people can, and should, have an estate plan; and it doesn't have to be an elaborate set of documents that only attorneys and actuaries may understand. As a matter of fact, your estate plan should be written so that your loved ones understand what to do in the event you are incapacitated or pass away. With that, this post will highlight three basic documents that should be a part of your estate plan.
A Will - As we alluded to, purpose of having a will is to detail how you want to your assets distributed when you pass away. A will is essentially a road map for people to follow when administering your estate.
A Durable Power of Attorney - Through this document, you can appoint the person of your choosing to act as your agent in the event you are incapacitated. This includes legal and financial decisions, such as paying certain debts or selling property.
Healthcare Directive - This is also known as a living will. This document allows you to give directions surrounding medical care in the event you cannot express yourself. For example, you can give instructions regarding continuing life saving procedures if your condition reaches a certain point. Like a power of attorney, you can also assign a representative to make decisions on your behalf.
If you have additional questions regarding these and other estate planning documents, an experienced estate planning attorney can advise you.