What Documents Do I Need When Estate Planning?
An effective estate plan should include your will, a durable power of attorney to designate authority over your finances, designation of Health care Surrogate and living will declaration.
Estate planning is not only for older people, and it is not only for wealthy people. Everyone needs certain documents that express their wishes about what the closest people in their lives should do in the event of a person’s death or serious illness. Even if you do not own enough property to necessitate the probate of your estate, you still need to draft estate planning documents to avoid heartbreaking and relationship-destroying conflict among members of your family. Estate planning is not only about money; it is about protecting your family from having to guess what you would have wanted regarding matters like your burial and end-of-life care. If you care about anyone, you need an estate plan, even if you are broke; you can always update your estate plan if you acquire more property later in life. The first step is to contact a St. Petersburg estate planning lawyer.
The Estate Planning Documents Everyone Needs
No matter how young you are, it would be best if you drafted the following estate planning documents before the end of this year:
- Will – Your will should include your wishes about who should be the personal representative of your state, whether you want your body to be buried and cremated, and where you want your remains to be interred or your ashes scattered. If you own any property in your own name, as opposed to owning it jointly with someone else, then your will should indicate who should inherit this property. You can leave property to anyone you choose whether the beneficiaries are relatives of yours.
- Durable power of attorney – This document gives legal authority to someone (referred to in the document as the “agent”) to make financial decisions and engage in financial transactions on your behalf. All of the grants of authority are listed specifically in the document. The document can give a very broad grant of authority to your agent, or it can give a limited grant of authority. Oftentimes, the document provides authority for your agent to execute documents and conduct other legal matters on your behalf. For example, the agent is usually given authority to apply for state benefits, defend a lawsuit, file an income tax return, and more. The agent can be anyone you trust, such as a family member, a friend, or a lawyer.
- Designation of Health Care Surrogate – This document authorizes one or more persons to speak with medical professionals or your behalf. It also authorizes those persons to make decisions about your healthcare if you become too ill to express your wishes.
- Living Will Declaration – This document only can be utilized during end-of life care. This document indicates that, if you meet certain medical criteria, you wish to be allowed to die with dignity and have life-sustaining measures withdrawn or withheld.
Contact Kruse Law About Estate Planning for Young People of Modest Means
A St. Petersburg estate planning lawyer can help you draft your estate plan even if there is not much to your estate. Contact Kruse Law Group in St. Petersburg, Florida, to set up a consultation.