According to caring.com, 58% of Americans have not executed a will or other estate planning documents.
Today I would like to go through what makes up a basic will in an estate plan.
What makes up a basic will?
First is the last will and testament. The last will and testament is simply a detailed list of how you would like your property distributed after you are gone.
The second thing that makes up a basic will-based estate plan is an advanced medical directive, also known as a medical power of attorney. This allows you to designate a healthcare agent to make medical decisions for you if you are unable to make them for yourselves.
The third document is a living will. A living will is written instruction on whether or not you want to receive life-sustaining procedures if you’ve been diagnosed with a terminal condition, and it gives guidelines to your family to follow if you become terminally ill.
Another useful tool
The last document is a financial power of attorney. A financial power of attorney delegates someone to handle your financial affairs, and there’s really two types of financial power of attorney: The first one is called a durable power of attorney, and the durable power of attorney goes into effect immediately once you’ve signed the agreement. The second type is called a springing power of attorney, and this goes into effect if you become mentally incapacitated. In other words, it springs into effect as soon as you become mentally incapacitated.
I encourage you to meet with an attorney, so you’re not part of the 58% of Americans who have not put together a will or estate plan, so that, ultimately, you can have your financial affairs handled the way you would like.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results.