WHAT DOCUMENTS ARE IMPORTANT TO INCLUDE IN AN ESTATE PLAN?
An estate plan helps to take care of the concerns of estate planners to ensure they and their loved ones are cared for. For that reason, it is important for estate planners to have a comprehensive estate plan and to know what to include in it.
WILLS AND TRUSTS
A will is used to transfer the estate planner’s property and assets to their beneficiaries. A trust can also be used to transfer assets which can be a less costly, more confidential and more flexible way to transfer assets. A trust can also be used to avoid the costly and time-consuming probate process.
ADVANCED HEALTHCARE DIRECTIVE OR LIVING WILL
An advance healthcare directive is a document that lists the estate planner’s healthcare preferences and is used if the estate planner is unable to communicate their wishes for themselves at any point such as if they become incapacitated. It lists the types of treatments, tests and medical care the estate planner wants or does not want to receive and can be used to help guide their medical treatment and care.
POWER OF ATTORNEY
A power of attorney can be used to appoint someone the estate planner trusts to handle their financial affairs if they cannot do it for themselves. A power of attorney can also be used for medical care to appoint someone the estate planner trusts to direct their medical care and treatment. A power of attorney will allow the designated agent to take action right away on behalf of the estate planner.
It is also a good idea to include a HIPAA form in an estate plan that allows loved ones to access the estate planner’s medical records. Estate planning is essential for everyone which is why it is valuable to know what estate planning documents to include in an estate plan.