There are three basic documents for your estate planning, documents that everyone should have to protect themselves and their loved ones. Some people download these forms off the internet to do it themselves, and while that’s better than nothing, it’s wise to consult an estate planning lawyer in your state about forming these documents so that they are not so easily contested if someone in your family contests what you’ve decided.
The three basic documents you need are the Power of Attorney, the Healthcare Power of Attorney and/or Living Will, and a Will.
POWER OF ATTORNEY
What is it? This document gives empowers someone else to handle all or some of your affairs should you become incapicated. It can be limited in scope or general, depending on your unique situation.
Why do I need it? Without it, who’ll to pay your bills, manage applications to services, handle your health insurance, and do all the things you need done when you’re incapacitated?
What is it? This document that says how you want your assets divided when you die.
Why do I need it? You need it to have a say in how your assets are divided, who raises your minor children, who carries out your wishes. Otherwise, a court will decide, and that may not lead to results that would make you happy.
What is it? A document that tells your loved ones/caretakers what your wishes are if you become incapacitated.
Why do I need it? Because otherwise your loved ones are burdened with “what ifs” and doubt. Neglecting this can create an environment consudive to infighting among well-meaning surviving loved ones (who may not agree what’s best in times of crisis.) Empower your family to carry our YOUR wishes should you become incapacitated. And give yourself the dignity of making your own healthcare choices in advance.