Estate planning can be complex. But there are some basic issues that every person should consider, which fall under the category of 4 basic estate planning documents. In as close to plain English as possible, here are quick descriptions of the four documents you should discuss with an Estate Planning Attorney:
Your Last Will and Testament says who gets things when you die. It also says who takes care of things after you die; this person is called your Executor. Your Will can also say who would be the Guardians of your minor children.
A Revocable Living Trust can also say who gets things when you die. It says who takes care of the assets you put into the Trust; this person is called your Trustee. A Revocable Living Trust should be accompanied by a Will that leaves everything in your “probate estate” to your Trust.
Power of Attorney
A Durable General Power of Attorney says who can make financial decisions if you are not able to make them. Your agent under this document is known as your “Power of Attorney” or “Attorney-In-Fact.” This person can sign your signature on your behalf.
Advance Medical Directive
An Advance Medical Directive says who can make health care decisions for you if you are not able to make them. Your medical agent is simply known as your “Agent” for making health care decisions.
Please contact one of our Estate Planning Attorneys today to discuss these documents further.