Estate planning is a process. It starts with your decision to prepare yourself and your family for the future. It can involve everyone important in your life - your family, your significant other, your friends, and maybe even the organizations most important to you. it also involves your assets and your property and the various forms of ownership and title that those assets may take. It also involves deciding who should care for you and what decisions should be made regarding your life when you cannot make those decisions yourself.

Estate planning will determine:

  • Who will take of you if you cannot
  • Who will manage your assets if you cannot
  • Who your assets will be distributed to
  • How your assets will be distributed
  • How your loved ones will be taken care of

Everyone needs estate planning. Do not believe that just because you may not have a substantial amount of assets you do not need to plan your estate. Your estate is not just about your property and assets; it includes you and everyone and thing that you love and care about. That is why it is so important to make sure that you take plan ahead.

Continue reading from the links below to learn about some of the basic estate planning documents everyone should have.

last will

and

testament

Your Last Will and Testament is the legal document in which you identify the individuals, charities or legal entities that are to receive your property and possessions after you pass on. The individuals or entities that are to receive any of your assets or property are known as your beneficiaries.

Failure to have a Will before you die means that you have passed on intestate. Your assets and property will be divided up according to state law and not according to your wishes. 

Click here to learn more about Wills.


living will

and

healthcare power of attorney

Your Living Will, also known as an Advanced Healthcare Directive, is the legal document that makes your medical wishes known to your family and medical care providers. It is typically used to provide direction in situations where you are incapacitated or cannot communicate.

Your Healthcare Power of Attorney, also known as a Healthcare Representative or Surrogate, is the legal document that designates who you want to make your medical care decisions when you are incapacitated or cannot communicate. 

These two documents are typically paired together.

Click here to learn more about these documents.


General power of attorney

Your General Power of Attorney is the legal document that authorizes your agent or attorney-in-fact to make legal and financial decisions on your behalf. This document is useful in situations when you are incapacitated, unable to communicate or are too frail or feeble to take of yourself or manage your affairs.

Click here to learn more about Powers of Attorney.