Estate Planning 101: 4 Things To Include In Your Plan

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Thinking about your own death certainly isn't a fun way to pass the time. However, it is usually a good idea to at least plan for your death. While it isn't pleasant, it is necessary to ensure that, once you pass, your family and loved ones don't experience any unnecessary pain and heartache—that's where estate planning comes in.

Estate planning comprises several legal documents that all correlate to your wishes both during and after life. Some basic documents you might want to include in your estate plan include these four:

1. Last Will and Testament

If you have any specific wishes for your assets, a living will and testament is necessary. This legal document allows you to detail exactly how and when your assets will be divvied up. Perhaps your assets will transfer over when you die. You could also have your assets transferred over before your death if you become extremely ill. This document also allows you to specify who will inherit your assets. It could be a family member, loved one, or even charity.

2. Living Will

A living will always a good idea because it allows you to make decisions about your end-of-life medical decisions. This document can include whether or not you permit specific medications as well as medical treatments. It usually also covers whether or not you want to be taken off life-support. It might seem a little far-fetched, but in the event that you become extremely ill and cannot communicate, this document is very handy for letting family members and medical doctors know your wishes.

3. Power of Attorney

Another document you might want to include in your estate plan is the power of attorney document. This legal document allows you to assign a specific person to be your voice when you are ill. This person will legally represent you in a variety of situations from meetings to medical decisions. If you don't have a specific person that you want to assign this duty to, you can always meet with and assign a lawyer to be your voice.

4. Health Care Directive

Similar to living will, a health care directive document allows you to specify your medical wishes. This document is a little bit more specific, as it allows you to specify certain hospitals and doctors. It also allows you specify whether or not you want to undergo certain tests. Like other forms, this document may also include information about whom you want to make your medical decisions for you should you become extremely ill.

Estate planning may not be fun, but it is an essential part of life. These forms will help ensure that you will remain comfortable and relaxed during your later years, especially if you are ill. They will also help save your friends and family heartache and frustration.  

For legal help with estate planning, contact a law firm such as Wright Law Offices, PLLC.