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Back to Basics: Crucial Estate Plan Components

 Posted on May 05, 2014 in Estate Planning

DuPage County estate planning lawyer, estate plan components, Illinois estate planning attorney, living will, financial power of attorney, medical power of attorney, power of attorney, healthcare power of attorneyMost people recognize that a will is a cornerstone of estate planning, but they might fail to include three other important documents: a durable power of attorney for financial needs, a living will, and a durable power of attorney for healthcare.

The best way to ensure your plans for the future are aligned properly is to have all four of these documents drafted by an estate planning attorney. Individuals who attempt to cut corners by putting these documents together themselves might not realize the mistakes they are making which expose them and their heirs to risk or extended probate.

Estate Plan Components

Your will is what contains the essential instructions about property distribution after you pass away. Without a will, the probate court will retain control over the distribution of your property. If you have children under the age of 18, the will should also include information about a guardian. As the most basic of documents, many people either already have this or are at least aware of the need to create it. And since each state may have its own special requirements for a legal will, it is recommended that you work with an experienced professional.

A financial power of attorney designates another individual to handle your financial affairs should you become incapacitated. This individual will be equipped with decision-making power over your assets. A living will is also important because this details your wishes with regard to receiving life-sustaining medical care. To prevent family battles and confusion in the event of such a situation, your living will clearly dictates what you would like to happen.

Finally, your medical power of attorney gives another individual the power to make health care decisions for you if you become unable to make them on your own.

If you have questions regarding estate plan components, and would like to speak to an experienced professional to get started, contact an Illinois estate planning attorney today.

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