Everyone should consider an estate plan. During the estate planning process, there are several documents that you should consider.
According to AARP, the proper estate planning documents can ease your family’s struggles at the time of your death or in case you suffer in an accident that leaves you incapacitated.
Estate planning for your health care
There are two options to plan for an emergency or event where you cannot make healthcare decisions for yourself. These options include an advance directive and a durable power of attorney for health care. An advance directive can be a living will. You include the treatment you wish for if you can no longer speak. In the living will, you can add what life-saving measures you want or when the physicians should stop medical treatment.
You can include the durable power of attorney in the advance directive. The durable power of attorney appoints a person that can make medical decisions for you. This should be a person you trust to make decisions on your behalf.
Estate planning for your finances
Estate planning may include a revocable living trust, a durable financial power of attorney or a will. Unlike an irrevocable trust, a revocable living trust allows you to keep control of your assets. You can appoint someone to take over your trust if you become incapacitated or cannot manage your finances. Having a revocable trust makes it easier to pass assets to your beneficiaries.
Since you cannot put all of your assets into the trust, a durable financial power of attorney appoints a person that can access your financial accounts, pensions or other assets not in the trust. If you choose to have a trust, a will can still dictate who you want to inherit other assets.