While many people are concerned an estate plan has to be complicated, many people only need a few basic documents properly prepared by an estate planning attorney, according to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle in "Five legal documents you need by 55."
Among these basic estate planning documents are:
- A general durable power of attorney is a document that will allow you to designate someone to take care of your financial matters if you are unable to do so. The person you choose will be able to make sure your bills are paid, any business you have is handled appropriately and that your assets are protected and preserved. A general durable power of attorney can also prevent the significant costs associated with guardianship proceedings if you were to become unable to manage your own affairs in the future.
- A health care power of attorney is also needed so that someone you designate can talk to your doctors and make medical decisions on your behalf if you are incapacitated. This powerful document also avoids the significant costs associated with guardianship proceedings.
- A living will is another necessary document that allows you to decide what will happen if you are terminally ill and unable to make your own health care decisions. This very important documents grants someone you choose the power to terminate life sustaining treatment under the circumstances allowed by law and protects your right to self-determination.
- A Will, of course, is also necessary so you can make sure your assets are distributed as you want after you pass away. A properly drafted Will can also appoint guardians for your minor children, create protective trusts for the benefit of your heirs, and reduce administrative costs.
An experienced estate planning attorney can help you prepare the necessary documents that you will need to protect yourself and your family.
Reference: Brooklyn Daily Eagle (Feb. 6, 2018) "Five legal documents you need by 55."