Estate Planning: What Documents You Need To Make Sure You And your Family Are Protected

Harvey Anderson

Estate planning is an important process that helps protect your family’s assets and make sure your wishes are followed in the event of death or incapacitation. Depending on the state in which you live, there are a variety of documents available to help ensure that your estate is handled properly.

In most states, a will is a key document required for estate planning. The will serves as an instruction manual for the distribution of assets upon your death. It contains details about who inherits which property, debts, and other financial responsibilities related to your estate. A will also appoints someone to either administer the trust or serve as trustee.

Another important document typically used in estate planning is a durable power of attorney (POA). This grants another person the legal authority to make decisions on behalf of you if you become unable to do so due to injury or illness. The appointed individual may be able to handle financial transactions and medical decisions in addition to assisting with other matters related to daily activities.

Depending on where you live, living wills and health care proxies may also be needed when forming an estate plan. Living wills outline end-of-life preferences such as whether or not certain treatments should be pursued in the event of life-threatening injuries or illnesses; health care proxies grant another person authority over these types of decisions if you are unable to make them yourself.

Trusts can also be set up in order to designate how assets should be handled after someone’s death—these documents can provide tax benefits and help maintain privacy regarding financial affairs by keeping them out of probate court proceedings. Trusts must be specifically tailored depending on individual needs and goals but can generally cover areas such as investments, real estate holdings, stocks, charitable donations, annuities, etc.

Estate planning documents vary from state-to-state but typically include a will, power of attorney forms, health care proxies and/or living wills (depending on your location), and trusts if necessary for specific situations such as tax savings or avoidance of probate court proceedings. Ultimately these documents are crucial for ensuring that your wishes are followed—so it pays off to look into what is best suited for protecting you and your loved ones during this critical time.

Family.Estate can match you with a qualified lawyer in your area to take care of your estate planning matters.

Disclaimer: This is not legal advice and information may vary between states. Information found on this website is general in nature. Please consult with a lawyer for personal support.


Ensure your assets go to your loved ones

Learn more about preserving your
family legacy.