Last wills and testaments are powerful documents. They give you the ability to distribute your estate, choose your heirs, appoint guardianship, and give your most precious belongings to your favorite people. But it’s important to keep in mind that a last will is a part of an estate plan, not an entire estate plan.

A comprehensive estate plan contains much more than just your last will and testament. It should include a power of attorney, an advanced directive, and, if you so choose, trusts for your children, grandchildren, favorite charity, or even a beloved pet.

Here are a brief explanation of each. Together, they give you control over your assets, your health decision, and the peace of mind that you’ve provided for your family. You can read more about last wills here.

Power of Attorney     

If you’re incapable of making financial or health-related decisions on your own, a power of attorney allows you to select a person you trust to make them on your behalf. You should provide this person with as much instruction as you can and inform your agent you’ve granted them this responsibility. It’s a big responsibility and knowing your wishes will make the process much easier.

You can learn more about the power of attorney by reading our Power of Attorney (POA) FAQ

Living Will

Sometimes called a advanced directive, a living will is a document that states your wishes in certain health-related scenarios. Whereas a power of attorney lets you give another person decision making power over your care and assets if you’re incapacitated, a living will lets you spell out exactly what you want done in specific cases. Often times, this involves what might happen if you’re in a coma or cannot be resuscitated.

You can read more about The Differences Between a Living Will and Durable Power of Attorney or start your Living Will by clicking below. 

Living Trust

Trusts are a great way to provide for the people, animals, and organizations you care about. In a trust, you set aside certain assets outside of your last will. This keeps them from going through the probate process (which can be expensive and slow) and usually, the taxes on assets in your trust are less onerous than traditional estate taxes.

You can read more about the Benefits of a Living Trust or get started by clicking the green button below.

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