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What Documents Are In a Complete Estate Plan?

Posted by Dana Law Group on February 16, 2021

image of someone signing estate planning documents

As we age and our assets raise in value, it becomes imperative that we properly allocate our assets and belongings through a comprehensive estate plan. With that being said, there is more to planning an estate than simply drafting our last will & testament. A successful and effectively drafted estate plan will incorporate provisions that give family members or trusted advisors control over our assets in the event that we are incapable of doing so.

In today’s discussion, we are going to highlight the documents most imperative to a complete estate plan.

Last Will & Testament

According to a report published by the AARP in 2017, nearly 60% of adults in the United States at the time were without a last will and testament.  This document declares who the executor of your will is following your death. Creating a proper will is crucial to proper estate planning.

Different Kinds of Wills

  • Living Will — Not to be confused with a Last Will & Testament, Living Wills breaks down end-of-life medical care for the subject of the document in the event that they are not fit to do so themselves.
  • General Will — A general will shall allocate how possessions will be distributed in the event of the subject’s death.
  • Ethical Will — An ethical will denotes an individual’s values, including their experiences and life lessons. Typically, thoughtful in nature and historical in accuracy, ethical wills provide stories for families to pass down.
  • Pour-Over Will — This testamentary device ensures the proper assignment of assets from an individual to a previously declared trust.

Powers of Attorney

Drafting a comprehensive estate plan requires properly allocating powers of attorney for both Financial and Medical purposes. Let’s break down these two POAs into two definitions that are easier to wrangle with.

  • Durable Financial Power of Attorney — An individual chosen to act on behalf of a subject’s financial needs should they find themselves incapable of doing so.
  • Durable Health Care Power of Attorney — An individual chosen to make medical decisions in the event that the subject should find themselves incapable of choosing their own medical care.

Additionally, some individuals will also have a Mental Health Care Power of Attorney to cover any and all mental health issues, should they arise.

Revocable Living Trust

A revocable living trust is put in place while a grantor is still alive, acting as trustee. This document will transfer some or potentially all the assets that a grantor owns to a trust following their death. In doing so, the trust becomes the purview of the assigned beneficiary.

Work with a professional attorney in Arizona to ensure that your living trust is properly assigned and documented.

Prepare For Your Future With Dana Law Group

When the time comes to put together the framework of an estate plan, make sure to turn to the team of 5-Star Estate Planning professionals at Dana Law Group. Prospective clients can sign up for a free initial consultation at one of seven prime locations throughout Arizona.