There are people who take the time to go through the estate planning process in the appropriate manner, as well as those who think they will always have time in the future.
While laws differ from state to state, meaning that our New York readers may not follow the same steps as those in neighboring areas, nothing changes the fact that there are essential estate planning documents to create.
Most people start with a will, as this gives them the chance to decide what will happen to their assets upon their death.
A durable power of attorney is important for people of all ages, as this gives somebody else the authority to make financial decisions on your behalf in the event that you become incapacitated.
Along the same lines as a durable power of attorney, it is a must to have a medical power of attorney. This gives your agent the authority to make medical decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so as the result of an injury or illness.
Last, but not least, is a living will. This touches on things such as whether you want to be kept alive via artificial respiration or resuscitated if your heart stops.
If you are faced with a sickness or injury, your family will have enough stress in their life. The same holds true when you pass on. To make things easier on everybody, it is best to create an estate plan, complete with the four documents listed above, as well as any others that suit your situation.
Source: The Wall Street Journal, "Four Estate-Planning Documents Everyone Should Have" Tom Lauricella, Apr. 20, 2014