Estate Planning Documents: What You Need and When You Need Them

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Estate planning is an important task that many people should consider early on in life. You may think that by having a will you have planned for everything, but there are actually several estate planning documents that need to be addressed as part of an overall package. Often, a will alone is not enough. Here are the estate planning documents that you should be considering.

Will/Trust

The will or trust that you set up is an important document that outlines how all of your assets and belongings are going to be divided among your remaining relatives. This document is the basis of estate planning, but often is not enough on its own. Every adult should have a will just in case, especially if that adult has substantial assets or children to provide for.

Durable Power of Attorney

A durable power of attorney appoints someone to act on your behalf if you are unable to do so yourself. This is an important document to have if there is a chance you could be incapacitated in some way. If you are an older adult, especially if you have risk factors or diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer’s, it is important to have this document in place just in case it is needed.

Healthcare Power of Attorney

This is similar to the durable power of attorney, but only allows the individual named in the document to make healthcare decisions for you if you are not capable of making the decisions yourself.

Guardianship Designations

If you have children, you need to make sure that you have a document with your will that designates a guardian or guardians for your minor children. This should be done as soon as your child is born just in case it is needed in the case of tragedy.

If you are an adult of any age, particularly if you are an older adult, it is important to start your estate planning early. Contact us today for more information or to get started on your estate plan today.

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