For most of us, creating an estate plan is something that usually gets put off for another time. Yes, estate planning and the circumstances surrounding it are a difficult topic, but necessary. Here, we’ll provide you with some of the most important aspects of estate planning, so you have a better understanding as to why you need to start your estate plan now:
To Start: A Power-of-Attorney
The first document you should have as part of your estate plan is a Power-of-Attorney. This is a legal document that grants another individual the ability to make certain medical or financial decisions on your behalf. Decisions include liquidating assets, managing your insurance and, in the case of a medical power-of-attorney, ensuring you have the medical care you desire.
Next Up: A Living Will
The next thing on your list should be a living will. This is a document that specifically outlines your medical wishes, should you become incapacitated and unable to make those decisions on your own. Decisions include:
- Certain life-prolonging treatments, including surgery, medication and blood transfusions.
- Palliative care or pain relief options.
- Life support.
- Administration of water and food (tube feeding).
- DNR (Do-not-resuscitate) orders.
Number Three: Your Will
Writing a will is a crucial part of estate planning. This document serves two purposes: First, it outlines who receives your assets and property after you’ve passed away. Second, it designates who will be the guardian of any minor children you have. Without a will, a court makes those decisions for you.
For more information on estate planning, contact us.