There are some documents that everyone needs for estate planning, but there can be additional requirements depending on how complex the estate gets.
Some estates are simple, and some estates are very complex and require many, many legal documents; however, all estates need a few basic documents as discussed by the Chicago Tribune in “Documents you need before you die or become incapacitated.”
- Will – At its core a will is simply a legal document that declares how a deceased person’s property that is not disposed of by any other legal means should be handled.
- General Durable Power of Attorney – A standard document that allows a person to determine who should handle his or her finances in case of incapacity.
- Health Care Power of Attorney – Similar to the other power of attorney, but it allows for someone else to make medical decisions for an incapacitated person.
- Living Will – Gives prior instructions to medical personnel about what means should be used to prolong a person’s life in the event that the person is terminally ill with no chance of recovery and unable to give instructions at the time.
An estate planning attorney can advise you on your needs for documents.
Reference: Chicago Tribune (July 25, 2016) “Documents you need before you die or become incapacitated”