No one wants to make things harder for their loved ones. One of the best gifts you can give them is basic estate planning, putting things in place in case of emergency.
Basic estate planning only requires three documents. By completing them you can protect your family and their future.
1. A Will
A will can determine who receives your assets and distribute them according to your wishes via the probate court. Your will can also appoint a guardian for your minor children and an executor to oversee the execution of your will.
Nothing in your will goes into effect unless and until you die. That makes the next two documents crucial for estate planning purposes.
2. Durable Power of Attorney
This document enables another person to make decisions for you while you are alive but incapacitated. You may grant general power, which allows your appointee to handle all business, or limited power, where you name their allowable duties.
A POA can potentially pay your bills, care for your children, and act on your behalf for all legal matters. Ensuring someone can perform these tasks while you cannot is a gift to your family.
3. Advanced Health Care Directive
This document has two sections:
- A living will, outlining your wishes if you become terminally ill.
- A Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care, appointing another person to make medical decisions on your behalf if you cannot.
Taking the time to have these three documents in place, no matter how old or young you are, can protect your family and bring them peace of mind should tragedy strike.