The estate-planning process is complex and involves more than just a will.
Make sure you have several specific documents ready in the unlikely event of your death.
1. Last will and testament
Create a will if you do nothing else. Identify your personal representative for the estate. List your beneficiaries and how the probate court should transfer your assets to your loved ones. Your personal representative will ensure that a clean, professional copy of your will gets recorded in court for probate. Greenville County states that if the will has erasures, white-out or other markings, there may have to be a formal hearing.
2. Durable power of attorney
Specify your primary agent and a backup agent who can make decisions for you when you are mentally or physically unable to do so.
3. Living will
Another word for this is the advanced healthcare directive. Decide how you want your doctors to proceed with your care. Consider whether you want them to save your life at all costs, or if there is a certain point at which you would allow them to end your life.
4. Healthcare power of attorney
While a durable power of attorney relates mainly to finances, your healthcare power of attorney advocates for you in a hospital or hospice setting. This person should be calm and resilient under pressure.
5. Living trust
A living trust is more common when an estate has many assets or if there are several beneficiaries. Decide whether you want to give your personal representative specific authority to make limited decisions or broad authority over all of your affairs.