There are many benefits to a well drafted estate plan. Some of these benefits include:
- Making effective transfers of assets
- Arranging for healthcare decisions to be made in case of incapacity
- Allowing your estate to avoid probate
- Planning for the financial wellbeing of children
- Fulfilling charitable intentions
- Reducing or eliminating estate taxes
- Having peace of mind
The best way to accomplish all the above wishes is to have a qualified attorney draft your estate plan. The basic estate plan is composed of four key documents; a will, a durable power of attorney for finances, a durable power of attorney for health care and a HIPAA release.
A will contains a detailed list of instructions on how you want your assets to be distributed. In some instances, it is better to use a more advanced estate planning technique and set up a living trust. The main difference between a will and a trust is that a trust avoids probate and a will does not.
A health care power of attorney is sometimes referred to as a patient advocate. It contains instructions on whether or not you want to receive life sustaining treatments.
A HIPAA release allows your protected health information to be released to the persons you have nominated.
Finally, a durable power of attorney for finances allows you to designate someone to manage the financial affairs of your estate in the case of incapacity.