Legal Documents: The Basics
The Protection Portfolio consists of many domains, such as auto coverages, health coverages, disability/life Insurance coverages, and legal documents. The legal documents often get overlooked, even considering the intricate role they play in protecting the client’s assets and wishes. Here are the basics:
Will – The Last Will and Testament allows you to stipulate your postmortem wishes, including designating beneficiaries, executor, and a guardian for minor children. Wills also provide arrangements for what happens to property, should you pass away. Most wills go through probate, and in some states a will is required as assets do not automatically transfer to the surviving spouse.
Living Trust – A living trust allows you to direct assets during your lifetime and name a trustee, who can step in and administer the trust, if you are ever unable to or should you pass. While a trust does avoid probate, it does not protect assets from creditors.
Living will (Advance Health Care Directive) – Spells out your treatment options towards the end of your life, including food and fluid, life support, and pain medication.
Power of Attorney – A document that allows you to appoint a person or organization to manage your affairs if you become unable to do so; however, all POAs are not created equal. Each type gives your attorney, the person who will be making decisions on your behalf, a different level of control.
Estate Planning is a very important piece of the balance sheet. To get more information or to find out which legal documents are right for you, please email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org to consult with a professional.