Common Estate Plan Documents

Your estate plan will consist of a few different documents.  Some of the documents that we prepare are listed below.  Additional documentation may be need for your particular situation.

Will

A will provides for the disposition of your property upon your death. It provides you the opportunity to specify who will receive your property, who will manage your estate (your personal representative), and who you would like to act as guardian of your minor children. A will may be revoked or changed at any time before your death (although it is possible to create a will which cannot be changed).

Living Trust

A living trust allows you to avoid probate and keep your financial matters private; however, it does not avoid death taxes. During your lifetime, you are the trustee of the trust and can change the terms of the trust. Upon your death or disability, the successor trustee would manage the trust property and distribute the trust assets to accordance with the terms of the trust. In conjunction with establishing a trust, it is important to actually transfer your assets to the trust.

Durable General Power of Attorney

A power of attorney appoints another person to act on your behalf. The person appointed is your “attorney-in-fact” and has a fiduciary obligation to act on your behalf. A durable general power of attorney is unlimited (covers all acts) and will continue to be effective even if you are incapacitated. A durable general power of attorney will hopefully eliminate the need for a court-appointed guardian in the event you are unable to manage your own affairs.

Advance Health Care Directives

Advance Health Care Directives appoint another person to make your health care decisions in the event you are unable to do so. They also typical include a living will which is a written document that states, in the event of a terminal illness, life prolonging procedures are not to be used or are to be withdrawn if they have already been used. You can read more about them here.

If you have any questions, we would be happy to help. Please call David Hiestand at 219-926-2188.