An estate plan is the plan you make ahead of time for how you want your property and assets protected, and distributed, when you pass away. It can also provide for your healthcare and financial management in the event of an emergency or accident.
Following are typically some of the most common aspects of an estate plan:
  • Healthcare Directives (Healthcare Power of Attorney and Living Will). These documents provide instructions to family members or friends on how you want your healthcare to proceed when you can no longer take care of yourself. With a healthcare power of attorney, you designate someone you trust to make decisions about your medical care when you are no longer able to do so. An Advance Directive for a Natural Death or Living Will specifies your desires with regard to life support measures.
  • Financial Power of Attorney (Durable Power of Attorney). Another important estate document is the financial power of attorney, also known as the durable power of attorney. This estate document will designate someone you trust to be in charge of your assets and finances in the event that you cannot make or communicate financial decisions due to physical or mental impairment.
  • Will. You’ve probably heard of a Last Will and Testament before. This document provides instructions on how to dispose of your assets, and it can give certain assets to certain people. For example, if you want your wedding ring to go to one of your children, you can name that child in your will.
  • Trusts. Some estates benefit from the creation of a trust to hold assets for minor children. You may also need a Supplemental Needs Trust if you have disabled children or relatives for whom you want your estate to provide. A trust will allow you to designate someone who will continue distributing funds and assets to these children or relatives, providing for them well into the future. You might also consider creating a revocable living trust to avoid probate.
  • Real Estate Deeds. Deeds can provide a way for you to distribute your property once you pass away.

While there are some core documents in an estate plan, it’s important to note that what is typically included in an estate plan varies from person to person. This is because your estate plan will be highly customized for your particular set of needs and circumstances. Your estate plan will also take your future objectives into account, which may alter the amount or type of documents you need.

Contact an Estate Planning Attorney Today

The best way to ensure your estate is protected with a competent estate plan is to talk to an attorney. The estate planning attorneys at Salines-Mondello Law Firm, PC are familiar with all sorts of estate plans, from those that protect assets to those that provide for your family. To learn what sort of estate plan you may need, contact us today at (910) 777-5734.