The term “Estate Plan” is a fairly common legal term that most people have heard, but don’t necessarily understand what it entails. This article will give quick overview of the five most important parts of an Estate Plan: The Will, a Power of Attorney, a Living Will, a Health Care Surrogate Designation, and a Trust.
A will is a legal document that sets forth your wishes of how the distribution of your property and the care of any minor children will take place after your death. Wills can be as specific as would like or very general. For example, a Will can delineate exactly who each personal item you possess will be distributed to or it could simply give all of your property to a single individual. Putting a plan in place to take care of any minor children is the most important part of a will for any young family, and it is absolute necessity.
A Power of Attorney (“POA”) is a legal document delegating authority from one person, the principle, to another, the agent, so the agent is empowered to make financial decisions on behalf of the principle. It is important for the principal to trust the agent, and generally this is executed between husbands and wives or from family member to family member. This is often most important when an individual is seeking medical treatment and will be unable to manage their own finances. The POA will empower a trusted individual to manage the finances of the patient seeking medical care.
A Living Will is a statement regarding the type of medical treatment and care you would like in the event you are unable to make your own decisions. This document covers end life decisions such as whether you would want to be kept on life support in a persistent vegetative state when there is no medically reasonable chance of recovery.
The Health Care Surrogate Designation is a document that empowers another individual to make healthcare decisions on your behalf in the event that you are unable to make them for yourself. This is especially important to have before a medical procedure, in case the patient becomes incapacitated and medical decision need to be made on their behalf.
A Trust is a legal instrument whereby a person, called the grantor or settlor, gives property to another person, the trustee, to be held for the benefit of a third person, the beneficiary. Trusts take numerous forms, and can be created both during your lifetime, and following your lifetime if laid out in your last will and testament. Trusts are flexible instruments that provide creditors protection and additional control over your assets after your passing.
Here at The Weil Law Group, we can help you with your estate plan regardless of how simple or complicated it may be. We also give you a low fixed price upfront. If you have any questions or need any help call 954-603-7603. We are here to help.