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The Basics of Good Estate Planning

On Behalf of | Mar 31, 2017 | Firm News

Whether you’re young or old, sick or healthy, it can give you wonderful peace of mind to know that your estate plan is in order. There are many different documents and forms that should be completed, and it may be confusing to know where to start. Which forms apply to me? Which ones should I do now, and which should I do later? Which ones are set in stone, and which ones can I change down the road? You may have a lot of questions about estate planning in Greensboro, and you will be able to get the best and most customized answers from a qualified attorney in your area. However, it never hurts to understand the basics ahead of time!

In the world of estate planning, the main objective is to ensure that your personal wishes are respected and fulfilled. This may come in many manifestations, including your health care decisions, and where you would like your material assets to go after you pass on. There are several key documents that are considered cornerstones of any comprehensive estate plan, and they include:

  • Will or Trust

A will, also called a “last will and testament,” is a document where you can express your wishes as to how you want your assets distributed after your death. In a will, you can name an executor for your estate, choose your beneficiaries, and designate guardians for your children.

  • Durable power of attorney (POA)

This important form is designed for you to name a person that you trust, to give them legal powers to make your decisions for you, should you become incapacitated. Unless you revoke these powers before you are seriously ill or mentally incapable, this directive stays in place until your death.

  • Health care proxy

Similar to the durable power of attorney, this document names a person that you trust to make your healthcare decisions, should you be unable to. This is a trusted individual who can oversee your “living will,” plans for your medical treatment, and end-of-life wishes.

Estate planning is a personal process, and the right forms will be tailored to you and your needs. For example, you may be young and wish to sign a prenuptial agreement, or you may have children and wish to set up a living trust for their care. It’s never too early or too late to talk to a qualified Greensboro estate planning lawyer, so reach out to the law office of E.J. Boswell today and ask for your free consultation!