Congratulations on starting your family's estate plan and planning for the future.
It is a wonderful thing to do for your loved ones. Having these legal documents in place will give your family piece of mind and satisfaction. It gives them the power to act on behalf of their loved ones and ensures that every decision will be done in their best interest.
In conjunction with a Will, there are other documents that can provide specific direction regarding health issues including incapacity and disposition of property or assets.
There several key elements that make the heart of basic estate planning. Below you can read basic definitions of what they are:
Will: It specifies who will inherit property after death. It controls the disposition of property at death. The laws of the State set the formal requirements for a legal will. It is worth noting that the Last Will and Testament is one of the most important legal documents a person can create during their lifetime.
Health Care Advance Directive: Allows you to plan for a time you are no longer able to make health decisions for yourself.
Health Care Surrogate: It is a document that names another person as your representative to make medical decisions for you in the event that you are unable to make them yourself.
Living Will: A statement or declaration about the kind of medical care you want or do not want if you become unable to make your own decisions. It specifies directions as to use of life-prolonging procedures.
Anatomical Donation: It is a document that indicates your wish to donate, at death, all or part of your body.
Power of Attorney: It allows you to name a person to perform a variety of activities. financial, legal, medical decisions. This is especially valuable for paying bills and protecting assets.
Because tomorrow is not promised, it is important to plan for the future. Whether it is an unexpected death or disability, it is wise to meet with an Estate Planning Attorney to help you craft a basic plan to protect your family, loved ones, and your assets.