Frequently Asked Questions
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General Estate Planning
Every estate plan is different, so the documents you need for your estate plan may be different than what someone else needs. However, many estate plans consist of a will and/or trust, a healthcare directive and a durable power of attorney.
A healthcare directive tells your medical providers what type of medical treatment you want in certain situations. This helps you communicate your wishes if you are unable to. You can also name a trusted person to make important medical decisions for you.
A durable power of attorney is a legal document that gives a person you name the right to handle your financial affairs and make financial decisions on your behalf. The term “durable” means that the person will continue to have this right even if you become disabled. Having a durable power of attorney in place can help you ensure there is a plan in case you become incapacitated and can avoid the expensive process of appointing a guardian or conservator.
Estate planning lawyers know the particular rules of the state where your plan is made. They also know what specific language is required to make valid provisions. They can discuss your specific situation so that a plan can be tailored to your needs. If you prepare your own documents, you may not use the proper language or follow the proper protocol, which can result in your documents becoming invalidated by a court and lead to unforeseen consequences.
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