Certain documents ensure your ability to assist your loved ones in a medical or financial emergency and, upon their death, ease the distribution of their estate. Your loved ones need to create these documents when they’re still capable of making decisions.
Also known as a living will or advance health care directive, this document outlines what kind of care your loved ones want to receive if and when they become ill or incapacitated. This directive spells out critical medical intentions, such as handling life-sustaining treatments.
Medical Durable Power of Attorney
A durable power of attorney for healthcare names and allows a trusted person to oversee medical care and make decisions for loved ones who can’t do so. Additionally, a HIPAA release gives you access to their health records and to talk with their physicians. When arranging care, you’re legally bound to follow the requested treatment preferences.
Financial Durable Power of Attorney
A durable power of attorney for finances allows you to manage your loved ones’ financial affairs when they’re no longer able. You’ll handle mundane tasks such as sorting through mail and depositing Social Security checks, as well as more complex jobs like watching over retirement accounts and managing other investments or filing tax returns.
Revocable Living Trust
This trust allows your loved ones to retain control over their estate while still making transfers of assets to beneficiaries. They designate what property (home, investments, jewelry, and so on) goes into the trust and to whom it’ll be granted. A revocable living trust has two important advantages: 1) you can alter or even void the trust whenever you want and 2) it allows the estate to avoid probate at the time of their death.
A will makes it clear who receives assets and personal property left in your loved one’s estate. A properly written will helps avoid disagreements and can keep your estate out of probate—which is often a stressful process. Regardless of how much or how little money is in the estate, a will ensures their wishes are heard. If they own a business, a will can help ensure a smooth legal transition of those assets.
This document is for educational purposes only and should not be construed as legal or tax advice. One should consult a legal or tax professional regarding their own personal situation. Any comments regarding safe and secure investments and guaranteed income streams refer only to fixed insurance products offered by an insurance company. They do not refer in any way to securities or investment advisory products Insurance policy applications are vetted through an underwriting process set forth by the issuing insurance company. Some applications may not be accepted based upon adverse underwriting results. Death benefit payouts are based upon the claims-paying ability of the issuing insurance company. The firm providing this document is not affiliated with the Social Security Administration or any other government entity.