It is always important to think about how best to protect or distribute your assets upon death. Proper planning during your lifetime can ensure that your wishes are respected and that loved ones are provided for. Common questions include whether to have a will, a trust, power of attorney, living will/advance directive, or some other type of document.
Some of the most important documents to consider are:
Will. A will is a basic document that virtually everyone should have. A will is a document that, among other things, disposes of your assets upon death.
Trust. A trust is a powerful and flexible tool that can be used to accomplish everything that a will can do, and much more. Because a living trust is not administered by the probate court upon death, and because it is so flexible, it is one of the most common types of estate planning documents used today.
Power Of Attorney For Finances And Property. A power of attorney is a document that allows you to select an agent to act on your behalf in case you cannot do so for some reason. A Power Of Attorney For Finances And Property allows you to designate one or more individuals to make virtually any decision on your behalf, other than health care decisions discussed below.
Power Of Attorney For Health Care / Living Will. A Power Of Attorney For Health Care allows you to designate an individual to make decisions on your behalf relating to health care. These documents also often contain your wishes regarding a so-called “living will” and other end-of-life treatment options.
These issues raise questions that require thorough review and analysis in order to ensure that the best tools are chosen to accomplish your desired goals.