Documents You Need When Planning Your Estate

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2 couples looking at a piece of paperMost people shun estate planning because they think it is only for wealthy people. Estate planning is essential regardless of the number of your assets. Once you die, your assets will be distributed no matter how small they are.

You can save your family the hassle of probate court by planning your estate. A Colorado probate attorney can help you with estate planning to avoid needless legal complications after your death. Here are some documents you might require in estate planning.

A Will

This is a document which describes the way you wish your property to be distributed after you die. For a will to be legally valid, it should be executed under your state’s laws. You should also be above the legal age and of sound mind. There exist three main types of wills: A witness or typewritten will drafted by your attorney; a holographic will is handwritten and not witnessed; and a nuncupative will, which is an oral will.

Power-of-Attorney

This is a legal document which allows you to name someone to manage your estate if you are incapacitated in any way but still alive. A springing power-of-attorney comes into effect after you are incapacitated. An immediate or durable one comes into force immediately. There are two types: financial and health powers-of-attorney.

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A Living Trust

This is created during the trustor’s life. They can transfer all property into a trust which is distributed according to the terms of the trust upon the death of the trustor. It is more confidential, and the distribution of your estate will be quick. Those with substantial wealth might also get tax benefits. It is however costly to create and manage.

An advanced health care directive is a specific legal form which lists your medical preferences that should be used if you cannot communicate. It includes your desired level of care in various medical situations. You should consider completing this form provided you are above 18 years of age.

Plan Now

Planning your future is important no matter what age or stage of life you are in now. Consult a lawyer for your estate plan to make sure that your future is in your hands.