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What is Estate Planning and how can you benefit from it?

Estate Planning is the process of anticipating and arranging, during a person’s life, for the management and disposal of that person’s estate during the person’s life, in the event the person becomes incapacitated and after death.

The best way to explain estate planning is to explain how individuals benefit from it. Usually individuals do not like to think of the possibility of their demise and/or incapacity, however, it is a fact of life that at some point everyone will pass on and some of us will also become incapacitated either by age, disease, or by way of an accident. Thankfully there are ways to prepare your estate for when either one occurs. There are several documents that can be prepared in order to aide your family members to make medical decisions on your behalf, as well as, financial decisions.

The documents meant to help with making medical decisions name a medical surrogate to help make the medical decisions in the event of an individual’s full or momentary incapacity. These documents allow an individual to name a surrogate and an alternate surrogate they are called medical surrogate documents. Along with the medical surrogate documents individuals can also execute a document which states which type of medical care that they wish to receive in regard to terminal illness or permanent state of being unconscious this document is called a Living Will. These two forms of documents are meant to help with the decision-making process for medical reasons.

There is another document that allows for an individual to choose an agent to help them with any financial decisions that they need to make. This document can be used when an individual is fully capacitated and can continue in the event of incapacity, this document is called a Durable Power of Attorney. This is a very powerful document and should be discussed with an attorney so that they may explain further the kind of uses that this document serves. Individuals can also prepare a Last Will and Testament and a Revocable or Irrevocable Trust. These documents help families understand where the assets of the estates are meant to be distributed to.

All of these documents should be consulted with an attorney who specializes in estate planning to best explain all of the possibilities for each individual.



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