Two Estate Planning Documents You Should Definitely Have

If you do not have an estate plan in place, there are a few things that you should definitely start to do. Here is what you need to know about a living will and a last will and testament.

Living Will

The purpose of having a living will is to give your loved ones direction on what kind of medical care you want to have if you are unable to vocalize your wishes. This would be if you are somehow incapacitated, in a coma, or in a vegetative state. You create your living will when you are alive and of sound mind and body, which will make your wishes perfectly clear in a formal document that can be referred to if the time comes. 

For example, you can express your desires on what kind of treatments you want to be performed, and let people know that you do not want to be resuscitated. You can also express desires to not be put on a ventilator, and when you may want to be taken off life support. These are hard decisions that family members may struggle with making, and a living will ensures that they do what you want them to do.

A living will can also let people know what your wishes are for after you pass away. You may have desires to be buried or cremated, and need to make that known near the end of your life. This information definitely needs to go into a living will since many families do not look at the last will and testament until after someone has passed and they have already handled the funeral. 

Last Will And Testament

Having a last will and testament will help your family navigate what you want to have happen to all of your assets after you pass away. It allows you to make specific decisions about who will receive what, and avoid potential arguments between family members. While arguments still can happen if you have a last will and testament, it is less likely to happen because you made your wishes perfectly clear. 

One thing to know about a last will and testament is that it simply dictates who will receive the assets that you own. You are unable to put terms and conditions on these assets and when they will be distributed. You'll need to create a trust if you are looking to have more control over how assets are handled after you pass away. 

Contact an estate planning law firm, such as, to learn more.