The thought of our own death or incapacity is often enough to prevent people from taking the time to sit down and create an extensive estate plan. The consequences, however, of not preparing at all for a tragic occurrence such as death or incapacity can be tragic as well. Consider preparing at least the following documents:
- Medical decisions – by executing healthcare directives you can make crucial medical treatment decisions now that will have to be obeyed if you become seriously injured or ill in the future.
- Guardianship of your children – what happens if the other parent dies at the same time as you? By including your choice of guardian in your last will you can be reasonably certain that your children will be in good hands.
- Power of attorney –by executing a durable POA you will know that someone can access your assets and make legal decisions immediately and without court intervention.
- Create a list of documents—create a list that includes bank account information, insurance policies, retirement accounts, and any other assets that you own. Also include directions explaining where these documents can be located.
- Little details – make sure that you also create lists for passwords, health insurance information, and other details that you need every day but that someone else would not know.