The four critical documents for your Estate Plan include:
- Provides mechanism and assets for you during life and during incapacity
- Provides assets during life of surviving spouse
- Distributes after life of both of you to your ultimate beneficiaries
- Does all of this without need of probate
- Durable Power of Attorney
- You authorize someone to act on your behalf during your life for business and finance and healthcare
- He/she can act not against your competent wishes, but very helpful:
- Any time during life
- During your absence
- During your incapacity
- In the event you cannot really help yourself this allows your family to avoid needing to go to court to get appointed as Guardian (for the person) and Conservator (for their assets)
- Pourover Will
- A backup Will that only leaves things to your genuine estate plan: your Trust
- A just-in-case measure in the event you acquire a major asset that needs to be probated (after your death) into your Trust
- Living Will
- While not a mandate or enforceable contract,
- It tells others, including your medical attorney-in-fact (named in your DPOA) that you do not wish to be maintained by life support machines if you do not really have a prognosis of recovery to your quality of life
These are Four Critical Documents for your Estate Plan. This does not cover all the bases, but these are the basics.
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