In the event of your death, have you considered the choices that must be made concerning your final affairs? How can you ensure that these decisions will be consistent with your wishes? Did you know, that if die without executing a will your affairs will be settled based on a will that is drafted by the government? Death is a topic that most individuals are uncomfortable talking about. But, with a little planning, you can maintain control and ensure that your estate will be settled consistent with your wishes.
The following documents should be considered:
- A will tells how you want your estate distributed upon your death. A trust can offer greater flexibility but is more complex. To determine which could best suit your needs, consult your financial advisor.
- A letter of instruction can make the settling of your estate much easier for your heirs. It is not legally binding, but can provide all the information necessary regarding accounts, arrangements, lawyer, etc.
- A durable power of attorney authorizes a person to conduct your legal or financial affairs in the event you become incapacitated.
- A living will states your wishes regarding medical actions to keep you alive.
- A durable power of attorney for health care, sometimes referred to as a health care surrogacy, designates an individual to make certain the instructions of your living will are carried out.