Wills are legal documents declaring how you want your estate distributed upon your death. EVERYONE NEEDS A WILL! If you die without a Will then the government decides who gets your estate. Even people with Trusts holding their assets need Wills to "pour over" the rest of their estate into their Trusts.
Durable Power of Attorney grants the power to make financial decisions on your behalf to someone else while you are alive. You decide whether it takes effect immediately, at some point in the future, or upon your disability. It should be part of every estate plan in addition to Wills and Trusts.
Medical Power of Attorney grants the power to make medical decisions on your behalf to someone else while you are alive. You decide the conditions under which the Medical Power of Attorney takes effect. It should be part of every estate plan in addition to Wills and Trusts.
A HIPPA Release grants someone the power to access your confidential medical records. They are typically drafted with a Medical Power of Attorney so the attorney-in-fact has no trouble making informed medical decisions. It should be part of every estate plan in addition to Wills and Trusts.
Directive to Physicians is also known as a Living Will or Designation of Health Care Agent. It details your desires regarding your medical treatment in circumstances in which you are no longer able to express informed consent. It should be part of every estate plan in addition to Wills and Trusts.
Disposition of Remains states how your remains are to be handled, your final resting place, and who has the power to make decisions regarding your remains. People can avoid family arguments and confusion by making Disposition of Remains documents part of their estate plans in addition to Wills and Trusts.
Simply put, Trusts are relationships where property is held by one party for the benefit of another party. Trustors establish Trusts. Trustees oversee and distribute assets of Trusts according to the Trust document. Beneficiaries receive benefits from Trusts. It is common for the same person to have multiple roles. For example, you could be the Trustor, Trustee, and a Beneficiary of the same Trust.
Some advantages of Trusts may include:
Trusts can be Revocable or Irrevocable. You can designate whether you can change your mind later and close the Trust. Trusts can be Living or Testamentary. You can set one up while you are alive or designate that one be created upon your death. Trusts can also be set up for Special Needs. Trusts work in conjunction with Wills..
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