Everyone knows that planning for the future is an essential step.  Making sure that you have the right documents in place can ensure that you, your family, and loved ones all have the type of type of outlook that you have envisioned.  Careful estate planning is the best path to make sure that you achieve these types of future goals.  There are several types of documents that are essential for many estate plans.

The first is a will.  This is the document that most people think of when it comes to estate planning.  A will tells your heirs and the court how you want your assets disposed of after you have passed on.  Drafting a thoughtful will is important for many reasons.  The most obvious is that it will make sure that your assets are distributed in the way that you intend.  Without a will, your assets will be distributed according to the laws of intestacy, which means that the state will determine who gets your assets.  As a result, a distant cousin or an estranged sibling could end up receiving all of your hard-earned assets instead of a well-loved friend or companion.  Another reason is that a well-drafted will can help minimize estate taxes that your heirs may have to pay.

Another essential document in your estate plan is a medical directive.  This may also be known as a medical power of attorney.  A medical power of attorney allows you to designate a particular person who can make your medical decisions if you are incapacitated and unable to make your own choices.  Medical directives can also include a living will.  A living will is a document that provides a set of instructions to your doctor or health care team as to what type of measures you want taken for your body or your life.  A living will is often drafted for those who have a terminal condition.

Revocable living trusts are another type of important estate planning tool.  A trust is an instrument by which you can designate an amount of money or assets to be held by a third party for the benefit of your designated beneficiary.  A revocable living trust is one that lets you place assets in a trust during your lifetime, and you continue to retain control over the assets in the trust.  You can alter the terms at any point, including who is the beneficiary, what and when they will receive, or even if the trust will continue to exist.

These are just a few examples of what documents may be essential for your estate plan.  We can talk to you about what your estate requires to achieve your goals.  Contact us today at 720-420-1777  to talk about your estate plan.