What other documents are typically involved in the estate planning process?
Minnesota estate planning attorney Karen Schlotthauer discusses useful documents that people can utilize in the estate planning process.
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What other documents are typically involved with the estate-planning process? We have talked about a will, and that tells us where you want your probate assets to go. We’ve discussed trusts, which are ways to manage assets for the benefit of certain trust beneficiaries. Two other documents that are very important would be the Healthcare Directive. That tells us who you would like to have speak for you with regard to healthcare decisions when you can’t communicate for yourself. And then the financial power of attorney. That allows you to nominate a person called an attorney, in fact, to have – to help you with financial transactions while you’re alive, but for some reason, you can’t act.
So if you’re driving down the highway with your spouse and you get in a car accident and you’re both alive, but all of your assets are owned as joint tenants and you don’t have a power of attorney, there’s no one who has legal authority to get in there and help you pay your bills, for example. And so nominating and utilizing the power of attorney’s very important. It helps us to avoid a conservatorship proceeding.