When you’re starting to prepare for your future, there are four documents that you must create right away. Your will, health care proxy, and advanced medical directives are all vital legal documents. They allow you to control how your assets are distributed after your death and prevent arguments with hospital personnel about who gets what. In addition, they can name guardians for your minor children.
A living will is a legal document that specifies your wishes for medical care and finances should you become incapacitated. It should also include a privacy consent form. This will allow the person you choose to have access to your medical records to make informed decisions. A living will is especially useful if you develop an irreversible or terminal illness. You can then make decisions about life-saving treatments.
Another important document for estate planning is a durable power of attorney, which gives an agent the authority to handle your personal affairs. This document is useful even if you don’t expect to become incapacitated. The power of attorney should be as detailed as possible. Without it, a court-appointed conservatorship or guardianship would be necessary.