While most adults are aware of the necessity of a will, they overlook other documents available in estate planning that can provide guidance for your loved ones in the event that you become incapacitated.
Thorough estate planning makes it easier for your loved ones to carry out your wishes on your behalf.
A will is a document that dictates how to distribute your assets after you pass away. It also designated the person in charge of administering your estate, often called a personal representative or executor of the estate.
Durable power of attorney
When you establish a durable power of attorney, you designate a trusted person to make financial decisions for you in the event that you become incapacitated. Incapacitation may be due to a serious accident or diminished mental capacity. A power of attorney can pay bills on your behalf while you are unable to take care of those kinds of responsibilities.
Health care power of attorney
When you establish a health care power of attorney, you designate a trusted person to make medical decisions for you if you become incapacitated and unable to speak for yourself. This designation often includes a medical directive that makes your wishes about medical decisions clear to your family and medical staff. A health care power of attorney can sign medical consent forms on your behalf when you are unable.
You can choose whomever you want to fill the roles of estate administrator, power of attorney and health care power of attorney. The same person can fill all three roles or you can choose three different people.