The goal with estate planning is to organize your estate so you can leave a legacy to your family, friends or charities and to organize it in a cost effective way. Preparing basic estate planning documents such as financial power of attorney, medical power of attorney, will, and a health care directive will serve you and your family for years to come, and ensure that your personal affairs are managed as you intend.
Powers of Attorney—Financial and Medical
A Financial Power of Attorney is a legal document which allows you to name someone to manage financial affairs if you are disabled. A Medical Power of Attorney is a legal document which allows you to name someone who can speak to your health care providers on your behalf when you are disabled.
A Will is a legal document prepared and signed during your lifetime which provides instructions for the division of your property, the care of your minor children, the handling of your estate and other important matters after you pass. A will also designates the person who will manage your estate when you pass, allows them to pay your bills, organize your assets, and distribute your assets to heirs according to your wishes. For most individuals and families, a Will is the most important document they will sign in their lifetime.
Health Care Directive
A Health Care Directive is also sometimes referred to as a “Living Will.” It is a legal document prepared and signed during your lifetime which ensures that medical decisions are made according to your wishes in the event of an emergency.