There is more to successful estate planning than having a Last Will And Testament. You should also take into consideration what happens if you are suddenly unable to take care of either yourself or your finances due to an accident or illness. This means making sure you have powers of attorney and advance medical directives in place. These documents allow your family, or a trusted friend, to manage your affairs on your behalf.
Your Will is an important part of your estate plan as this document will specify who inherits your assets upon your death. Your Will provides one person with the authority to oversee the distribution of your assets. Once your Personal Representative presents your Will for probate, they will be responsible for settling your estate.
Powers of attorney can be drafted to allow someone to manage your investments, take care of your day-to-day household expenses, to address other financial matters should you be temporarily unable to do so and to make health care decisions should it become necessary. The first step in drafting powers of attorney is to determine how much authority you want someone to have and communicating that information to your attorney. Since the authority is granted only upon your disability, you can change a power of attorney at any time.
Advance medical directives allow you to appoint someone to ensure that your wishes for your medical care are carried out. The person you designate can limit the amount of end-of-life care you receive as per your wishes, and they can make other medical decisions on your behalf when you are unable to do so for yourself.