No one knows what the future holds. You, or your loved ones, could live for the next 100 years or pass away tomorrow. As such, it is important to have your affairs in order and a plan of what you want done following your death or incapacitation. There are many documents that can be included in an estate plan, but the following are four that you should really consider.
A will is a legal document that outlines what a deceased person would like done with his or her assets after death. The will can address all assets that an individual owns, who should take possession of those assets after death, who should take custody of minor children, or even just general funeral arrangements that the deceased would prefer. Anyone over the age of 18 and of sound mind and can create a will. Along with a will, having a trust set up that has all the property of the estate listed can be beneficial in a will by leaving anything not specifically accounted for in the will to the trust to be distributed by trust terms.
Every adult should have a will. A will provides a mechanism for dictating what one wants done with his or her life’s work following death. Not only will your wishes be carried out, but you can reduce the burden on your loved ones by having a plan laid out in a legal document.
Power of Attorney
Not every estate document is meant for actions to be taken after death. There are documents that can be prepared for someone to have power of attorney over another if that person becomes incapacitated or otherwise unable to make decisions for him or herself. There are two main types of powers of attorney — general and healthcare. A general power of attorney gives someone the ability to make decisions involving finances, real estate, and other matters that arise while a person is incapacitated. A healthcare power of attorney serves the function of making healthcare decisions for another if he or she is incapacitated or otherwise unable to make decisions for him or herself.
A living will is an advanced directive that outlines the medical decisions a person wants to make in the event he or she is incapacitated or unable to care for him or herself. While healthcare decisions can be made through another individual being granted power of attorney, the living will gives the incapacitated person the ability to still have a say in what medical treatments are performed. This is not a substitute for the healthcare power of attorney, however. A sound estate plan has both of these documents included.
Every legal document has to meet state-specific requirements that make the document valid and enforceable. In order to ensure the proper preparation or execution, an attorney can help to draft or look over documents to ensure their validity and compliance with state laws. The attorneys at Greg Baker Attorneys at Law, PLLC are here to draft your legal documents. Do not get caught in a situation in which you do not have the proper legal documentation completed. Contact us today to get help.