What Is an Estate Plan?

An estate plan consists of specific legally binding documents that set forth your personal wishes during your lifetime and acts as a guide for family members and beneficiaries after you are gone. By having an estate plan, you are able to provide for the distribution of your assets at your death, and to protect your assets and declare your wishes regarding your health care decisions during your lifetime if you become incapacitated.

An Estate Plan consists of the following documents:

  • A Last Will and Testament and/or a Revocable Trust that instructs your Executor/Trustee how to distribute your assets at your death and names the beneficiaries who will receive your assets.
  • Appointment of Legal Guardian to care for your minor children in the event of your death or incapacity.
  • A Durable Financial Power of Attorney to appoint an agent to manage your finances and business on your behalf during your lifetime.
  • A Medical Power of Attorney to appoint an agent to make medical decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so, and to indicate whether you wish to make an anatomical gift of your organs.
  • A Living Will to indicate that in the event of a terminal condition (e.g., imminent death or a persistent vegetative state) certain life-prolonging procedures should be withdrawn or withheld.