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Some people think that only the very wealthy or those with complicated assets need wills. However, there are many good reasons to do estate planning, such as appointing a guardian for your children, deciding who receives your property, to protect your business, and to make difficult times less difficult.
The heart of every estate plan is a will, also known as a last will and testament. This legal document puts you in control of who inherits your property and who would take care of your children if it were ever necessary. Without a will, state law determines these issues. Your will also allows you to name an executor (sometimes called a “personal representative”) to carry out our wishes. And you can appoint a trusted person to manage property left to young people.
Distribute your assets and provide property management while keeping your trust property out of lengthy and expensive probate proceedings after you die.
Spare your loved ones difficult decisions by laying out your wishes for medical care and naming someone to carry out your instructions. Includes a health care power of attorney and a living will.
A durable power of attorney ensures that someone you trust (called your "agent" or "attorney-in-fact") will be on hand to manage the many practical, financial tasks that will arise if you become incapacitated. For example, bills must be paid, bank deposits must be made and someone must handle insurance and benefits paperwork. In most cases, a durable power of attorney for finances is the best way to take care of tasks like these. You can also give your attorney-in-fact authority over your digital assets.
Plan a funeral or other ceremony and ease the burden on your loved ones. Provide your preferences for burial, cremation, memorials, obituaries and more.