The Five Estate Planning Documents You Need

Estate planning is a serious s endeavor, and you need to focus on your future and the future of your children when organizing the estate. There are a variety of different documents that you should heavily consider creating and drafting to help your family avoid conflict when you pass away. Without these various documents to help your family, there may be untold amounts of conflict or even court cases over the estate. You don't want to cause your family strife or division, so it is always better to be over-prepared for any circumstance then under-prepared at the time of your death.

One of the most important documents that you need to create is an advanced health care directive, According to Forbes, this is a document that lists your healthcare preferences and will be implemented if there is ever a time that you can no longer communicate your wishes. The advanced healthcare directive can list any healthcare that you would not like to receive in the event of an emergency or if you come down with a fatal illness. You can also list any treatments that you don't want or any tests that you would prefer to avoid. Forbes says that any adult over the age of 18 should draft one of these forms to avoid confusion later on in life. Without an advanced healthcare directive, you may undergo a treatment that you would never have wanted.

Secondly, all individuals should have a power of attorney for asset management. This is a document that appoints someone that you love and trust to manage your financial affairs if there comes a time when you are no longer able to manage them yourself. The form will also list the circumstance when you need to ask this trusted individual to assist you. After having completed this form, you will be able to avoid conservatorship should you become incapacitated. You will want to talk to an estate planning lawyer about this document and draft it with a professional there to help you.

Third, all adults should create a will that specifically designates where the estate will go in the event of a death. Wills are relatively inexpensive to create but sometimes they will result in probate. The probate procedure can be lengthy and costly, so it may be wise to replace a will with the fourth necessary document: a living trust if you want to spare your children or heirs the time and money that is consumed by the probate court. Even individuals who have a living trust will need a will as well to help designate where all the properties will go at that individual's passing.

Lastly, you may want to draft an HIPAA release form. This is a release form passed by the federal government to help protect our health care information and make sure that personal details about your health are kept a secret. The form only allows certain individuals designated on the form to receive information about health care for insurance reasons. If you have children that will need to negotiate with insurance companies in your behalf in the future then this document may help them to access that secret medical information to accomplish this goal.

Once again, it is always best to be safe, rather than sorry. If you do not have any estate planning documents in place, you need to get started with this immediately. Hire an attorney today if you want more information about estate planning documents and which estate planning documents are best for you. With the right lawyer on your side you will have a legal guide as you navigate through the process of estate planning.