Whether you have gathered a lot in your lifetime, or you are just starting out – estate planning is essential to determine what happens with your worldly goods after you have gone.

 Of course, you will need a Will to dispose of your assets at the time of your passing, but perhaps even more important is a Durable Power of Attorney. This legal document will provide financial and medical help should you be unable to make those decisions for yourself.

 The Durable Power of Attorney will appoint someone of your own choosing to handle your affairs should you, at any time in your life, become too ill to do so. This will also keep the court system out of your business.

 Another thing is an Advanced Directive for Healthcare. If you are terminally ill, or injured, what do you want the medical professionals to know about how you would like to be cared for. This document allows for your wishes to be followed in the event of a terminal condition.

 A Living Will is another document that allows you to make choices about your life. In a Living Will, you make the choices and the only other person involved is the Proxy whom you appoint to ensure that your wishes are carried out.

 The Power of Attorney for Healthcare is different in that you actually appoint another person to be the decision-maker. In this case, you will not be making your own decisions about your healthcare. This document often comes into play when a person is unable to make decisions about their own health and well-being.

 There are plenty of online documents to help you with estate planning, but it is a complicated venture. You will want to meet with an estate lawyer who knows how to best help you plan for your future and that of your family.

 If you have legal questions, please consult our Online Legal Directory to find an attorney in your area.

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