It’s exceedingly common for individuals to draft a will, then assume that their estate planning work is done. While a will is often the crucial first step toward a comprehensive estate plan, it’s seldom the last. There are a number of other documents that may be helpful to those engaged in advanced estate planning, including the living will, trust, and power of attorney.
But what are these documents, and how can you tell when you need one? Get the answers from our resident living will, trust, and power of attorney experts.
What is a Living Will?
We’ll start with a quick definition of the living will.
A living will, which may also be called an advance healthcare directive, is a legal document in which you outline your wishes for end-of-life medical care.
Basically, living wills are designed to clarify what you want to happen should you ever become medically incapacitated, and unable to voice your wishes. You can codify those wishes in advance, using a living will, to explain if and when you want life support technologies to be administered or withdrawn.
Basically, a living will is essential to help you prepare for unexpected medical occurrences, including catastrophic accidents, illness, and injuries.
Do You Need a Trust?
Next on our list is the trust.
There are a number of options here, including living trusts, and revocable and irrevocable trusts. We won’t go into all the details in this post; for specific clarifications, you’re encouraged to chat with a living trust attorney directly.
The important thing to know about trusts is that they can augment your will in a number of ways. Specifically, the right trust can keep your estate out of probate court; maintain your confidentiality, even after you die; and even help shield you from certain taxes.
These are all important issues to discuss with a will trust attorney.
What About Power of Attorney?
One final document to discuss with your living trust and will lawyers: The power of attorney.
Like living wills, these documents allow you to plan for unexpected medical catastrophes, particularly those that leave you incapacitated. With a power of attorney, you can designate someone to make decisions on your behalf when you are unable to make them for yourself.
A medical power of attorney appoints someone to make decisions about your clinical care. By contrast, a financial power of attorney allows you to name a legal representative on issues related to business, real estate, taxes, money management, and beyond.
Once again, with any specific questions, we’d invite you to speak with our team of living trust and will lawyers.
Choosing the Right Estate Planning Documents
While all of these documents may be valuable, that doesn’t mean they’re for everyone. Different people have different estate planning needs, and the process should never be cookie-cutter.
The best way to determine your ideal course of action is to meet with a living trust attorney, who can further explain the options, answer your questions, and help you decide on the best estate planning resources for you and your family.
Find Out More About Advanced Estate Planning
If you’re ready to speak with a revocable living trust lawyer or will trust attorney expert today, we welcome you to give us a call.
We’re here to help you navigate United States trust law, estate planning tools, common questions and concerns, and more. And, we’ll help you select the estate planning options that best fit your goals.
Contact the offices of Singh Law Firm anytime you’re ready to chat about your estate planning needs.