29 Apr Estate Planning 101: Document Definitions
Estate planning can be a confusing, harrowing process, but having access to the right resources makes it easier. Boyum Law Firm and our blog posts are here to help with quick facts and easy to understand information. In this blog post, we’ll catch you up on the basics by running through estate planning document definitions. Read on to learn more about last wills, living wills, and powers of attorney documents.
Last will and testament
Simply put, you use your last will and testament to state your final wishes, including:
- Naming a legal guardian for any minor children
- Distributing assets
- Naming a personal representative to shepherd your estate through the probate process
Everyone should create a last will and testament. Your estate planning attorney can help you decide if supplementing your last will with additional documents, such as a trust, is right for you. Even without extra protection provided by a trust, your last will ultimately helps you convey your last wishes after you die.
Unlike your last will and testament, your living will comes into play while you’re alive. You use this document to state your wishes in terms of medical care before an emergency happens. Normally when you go to the doctor, you make health care decisions for yourself. If something happens and you’re no longer able to express your decisions or desires for care, your living will does so for you. Overall, creating a living will enables you to make health care decisions in advance. Hopefully you’ll never need to use your living will, but if you do someday, you can rest assured your wishes are honored.
Powers of Attorney
Similar to a living will, your powers of attorney documents are only used if you’re incapacitated or unable to make decisions for yourself. People create two powers of attorney documents:
- A medical power of attorney to make medical decisions on your behalf
- A durable power of attorney to make financial decisions on your behalf
You can name the same person to serve in both roles are a separate person for each role. The decision is entirely yours, though you want to ensure you have the right person for both jobs. Someone who you trust, is willing to take on the responsibility, and knows you well is a good candidate for your powers of attorney.
How can Boyum Law Firm help you?
Boyum Law Firm can help with your estate planning, Medicaid planning and probate law needs. To contact Boyum Law Firm, click here.