Estate Planning Documents: Which Ones Do You Need
Estate planning is not only for the wealthy–it’s beneficial for all people, regardless of your estate’s size. With proper estate planning, you can save survivors time and stress after you pass by having your property and items organized and settled.
However, the internet is filled with advice columns on which documents you need and how to prepare them–it’s a little overwhelming.
At Hickey and Hull, we strive to make this process as simple and painless as possible. We’ve created this concise list of necessary estate planning documents to detail which ones you need and why they’re essential.
Start With a Will
A will is one of the most important documents you can ever create for yourself. A will protects your assets and helps your survivors after you’ve passed.
We strongly recommend that everyone creates a will once they turn 18. Even though some people may argue they don’t have enough money to justify a will, all it takes is having a few possessions, children, and pets to include in a will.
The best part about a will is that with the right team of attorneys helping you along the way, you can regularly update beneficiary designations to reflect your assets accurately.
Develop a Basic Trust
Trusts are excellent for helping you in times of need. Having immediate access to funds in a living trust can help you battle medical bills before they pile up and financially suffocate you.
When you pass, the funds in a trust don’t go through probate court, which simplifies the process for the executor.
Incur the Power of Attorney
Power of attorney is essential for someone to develop a will and trust. In the event you are incapacitated and can’t speak for yourself, you need someone you trust to speak for you who will carry out your wishes.
Work with attorneys to properly file the documents to ensure your chosen individual receives their power of attorney rights if necessary.
This step is more precautionary than anything, but it’s crucial to building a thorough estate plan.
Implement a Living Will
A living will is one of the final documents we recommend for all clients. Contrary to a will and trust, a living will states your wishes for medical professionals and the decisions they make should you be unable to voice your thoughts and wishes.
A living will is essential because it takes the stress and worries off your family members and loved ones. After all, you’ve already made the decision ahead of time.
Establish Durable Healthcare Power of Attorney
Although a living will is helpful for medical professionals, you need a healthcare power of attorney to speak on your behalf for matters not addressed in your living will.
A durable healthcare power of attorney is similar to a regular power of attorney, except they only focus on your medical needs and can make the tough calls.
Estate planning is arduous because it forces you to think about the end of your life, which isn’t pleasant. But this necessary planning is helpful for your loved ones when you pass because they can focus on mourning rather than legal paperwork. Contact Hickey and Hull Law Partners today to start the process of establishing your estate plan.