Last week, we covered the importance of having a will and a trust when you are doing your estate planning. There are other things you should consider if you want an estate plan that will meet your specific needs.
Powers of attorney are important documents to have. There are two major types of power of attorney: legal and medical. Durable legal power of attorney grants a person the right to represent you in legal matters in the event you become incapacitated. Durable medical power of attorney grants a person the legal right to make medical decisions for you if you are incapable of doing so. It is wise to choose two separate people for these roles.
A living will is also an important document as it tells those who have medical power of attorney how you want medical procedures and emergencies to be handled. For example, if you do not want to be hooked up to machines that keep you alive artificially, that should be communicated in the living will.
Next, you will want to make sure that any special items you want to leave friends and family members are correctly titled. In other words, ensure you document who each beneficiary is and exactly what they are supposed to receive. If it is a monetary asset, make sure you include the percentage you want each beneficiary to receive.
Finally, you will want to make sure that anyone who will be charged with administering any part of your estate is aware of your decision. Administering an estate can be a huge responsibility and not one that should be given to someone without their knowledge.
For those who would like assistance with estate planning, contacting a legal professional with estate experience can help a person create a plan that will ensure all final wishes are carried out as intended.
Source: Market Watch, “5 estate-plan strategies for boomers” Andrea Coombes, Nov. 29, 2013
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