During these uncertain times of dealing with a health crisis in our country, it is now more important than ever to have an estate plan. An estate plan is more than just a Will, and should include a Health Care Power of Attorney, Living Will, Durable Power of Attorney, and other estate planning documents. By executing these documents, you will help ease the burden on your family if they need to make health and financial decisions on your behalf.
Here are 5 estate planning documents everyone should have in place:
- Will: The main purpose of a Will is to set forth your instructions on how your assets will be divided up and distributed after your death. If you die without a Will, your assets will be distributed according to a North Carolina statutory scheme, which will most likely differ greatly from your desired plan for your assets. In your Will, you will also make very important decisions about who will handle your affairs as executor, who will serve as guardian of your minor children, and who will serve as trustee to manage the money that you leave for your children.
- Health Care Power of Attorney: This document appoints a person to act as your agent with respect to health care matters. If you are unable to talk to your doctors and make decisions about your medical care, your health care agent will consult with your doctors and make those decisions.
- Living Will (Advance Directive): This document is a directive to your doctors to withdraw or withhold certain life prolonging measures if you are terminal and incurable. In this end-of-life situation, it is important that your doctors understand your wishes. Having this document in place can reduce the trauma experienced by your loved ones in this end-of-life situation.
- Durable Power of Attorney (Financial): In this document, you appoint a person to act as your agent with respect to financial matters. They would have the authority to make decisions and take actions on your behalf, such as signing checks and other instruments to handle your financial affairs during a period of incapacity. So, if you are suffering from an illness and you are hospitalized, this person can take control of your day-to-day affairs to keep your bills paid up and current.
- Trust: Your estate planning documents may also include a trust instrument. A trust for minor children will be incorporated into your Will in order to manage and distribute money that you leave for the care of your minor children. A trust could be appropriate for other reasons, which an estate planning attorney should discuss with you.
The estate planning attorneys at Dozier Miller Law Group are here to help you make the important decisions to ensure that your wishes are carried out in the future. We are available to prepare a set of estate planning documents to give you the peace of mind of knowing that you have provided for your loved ones and have taken the uncertainty out of the process when the time comes.
Contact our estate planning attorneys at 704-372-6373, or by e-mail:
Thomas Falish: [email protected]
Craig Miller: [email protected]
This information is provided for informational purposes only; it is not offered as and does not constitute legal advice.