Three Must-Have Estate Planning Documents

Estate planning is for everyone, regardless of wealth or income level. For people with substantial assets, a more detailed estate plan may be necessary. However, for most people, a simple estate plan will do the trick. Regardless of your age or income bracket, there are a few essential documents that every estate plan should contain. Below is an overview of three must-have estate planning documents. For additional guidance on starting the estate planning process, please contact a Florida and New York estate planning attorney.

Last Will and Testament

The last will and testament is probably the most well-known estate planning document. A will allows you to do the following:

  • Determine how your assets will be distributed to your heirs
  • Assign someone the responsibility for administering your estate
  • Assign someone to look after your minor children

Durable Power of Attorney

The next necessary estate planning document is the durable power of attorney. A durable power of attorney allows you to assign someone to handle your financial affairs should you ever become incapable of doing so yourself. A power of attorney is a flexible document, and it can grant a person limited power, such as the ability to access your bank account for a limited period of time, or it can grant an individual broad power, such as the ability to manage your financial affairs indefinitely.

Advance Health Care Directive

An advance health care directive is similar to a durable power of attorney, but it addresses health and medical issues. An advance health care directive usually consists of a designation of health care surrogate, a living will, and a HIPAA release. A designation of healthcare surrogate allows you to designate an individual to access your health care information and make medical decisions on your behalf. A living will allows you to name an agent to carry out your wishes regarding the termination of life support under specific conditions. Finally, a HIPAA release is a document that allows a named agent to access your personal medical information. These three documents make up an advance health care directive, and they can be drafted in three separate documents or in a single document.

Contact an Experienced Florida and New York Estate Planning Attorney

Whether your Florida or New York estate planning needs are basic or advanced, you need an experienced Florida and New York estate planning attorney on your side. At the Law Office of Angela Siegel, we provide comprehensive estate planning services to clients in the states of Florida and New York. Attorney Angela Siegel is an experienced estate planning attorney, and she regularly assists clients in both Florida and New York with their estate plans. Therefore, if you would like to begin the estate planning process in either New York or Florida, please contact us today to arrange a consultation.