Besides a will, what other estate planning documents should I have?
The types of estate planning documents you might need are wholly dependent on your unique situation. We typically recommend the following additional documents:
– Health Care Power of Attorney – sometimes known as a “living will,” this document allows you to appoint a representative to make health care decisions for you if you become incapacitated. Having this document in place can save loved ones the heartache of making the tough decisions in the event you cannot make decisions for yourself, such as how long to continue treatment if you are in a persistent vegetative state, what measures should be taken by physicians to prolong your life, etc.
– Durable Power of Attorney – This document gives someone the power to legally act on your behalf. These can be general or limited and can, for example, give someone the ability to sell real estate on your behalf, make decisions about your living arrangements, or who should provide your health care.
– Declaration of Desire for a Natural Death – This document allows you to put in writing what life-prolonging measures you do or do not want to be used if you are incapacitated and do not have a high chance of survival or return to previous health status.
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