1) Last will and testament — This legal document effectively distributes your assets as you desire, including specific gifts, designates a guardian for any minor children, and appoints an executor who administers your estate upon death.
2) Power of attorney for property — This legal document allows you to designate an agent who has the power to act on your behalf regarding your property in the case of your incapacitation, disability or inability to act.
3) Power of attorney for health care — This legal document allows you to designate an agent who has the power to make health care decisions on your behalf in the case of your incapacitation, disability or inability to act. It also allows you to make decisions regarding life-sustaining treatment, organ donation, and restrictions on medical treatment.
4) Living will — This legal document further indicates your desire for certain death delaying procedures.
Some individuals, couples and families may desire a more complex estate plan in order to avoid probate, take advantage of the federal and state estate tax exemption, offer greater creditor protection, or place conditions on distributions made to beneficiaries. In such instances, trusts may be appropriate.
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