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Essential Estate Planning Documents
Common Estate Planning Questions
What’s the difference between a Will and an Estate Plan?
A Last Will and Testament is the cornerstone of every estate plan. It allows you to distribute your assets, appoint guardians for your children, and even provide for a favorite charity. But an estate plan doesn’t end there. A Power of Attorney, for example, lets you appoint a trusted family member to make financial and medical decisions on your behalf, while a Living Trust can help you provide for your children without the hassles of probate court.
How often should I update my Will?
It’s a good idea to consider updating your Will whenever you have a big change in your life. A marriage, the birth of a child, a new business venture, or the purchase of a home are great reasons to take a look at your Will. You can either start from scratch and create a brand new Last Will and Testament or just use a Codicil to Will to make changes to your existing one.
Why should you create a complete Estate Plan?
A full estate plan is the smartest way to make sure your assets are distributed the way you want them to be. Without a Will, your property will be divided based on the rules in your state, which are the same for everyone. If you want to leave money to a charity, appoint a guardian for your children, or protect your business after you’re gone, an estate plan is the only way to make sure your wishes are known.
What’s the difference between a Living Will and a Power of Attorney?
Both these estate planning documents can help you make tough healthcare decisions now that might affect you and your family in the future. With a Power of Attorney, you appoint an agent who you trust to make these decisions for you, while with a Living Will, you can expressly lay out the sorts of treatment you do and do not want to receive. For example, people who may not want to be kept in a vegetative state can note that explicitly in their Living Will.
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