There are a lot of legal documents and it may be wise to learn a bit about them.
The Ventura County Star recently published a list of basic estate planning documents that could help you better understand the lingo when meeting with an attorney in "Get to know estate planning documents."
The documents included are:
- Advance Directive - Tells doctors and other health care professionals what procedures not to perform if you are terminally ill and have no chance of recovery.
- Asset Inventory - A list of all of your assets to let your estate executor know what you have after you pass away.
- Beneficiary designations - Life insurance, retirement accounts, and other financial accounts you designate to go to a specific person after you pass away.
- Power of Attorney - Allows for someone else to handle your finances if you are incapacitated.
- Power of Attorney for health care - Allows for someone else to make medical decisions for you if you are incapacitated.
- Record of Locations - A list of where your heirs can find all the important financial and legal documents after you pass away.
- Trust agreement - A method of passing assets to others while having those assets maintained by a third person.
- Will - The most common estate planning document that says how assets should be distributed after you pass away via probate.
An estate planning attorney can guide you through the documents that may meet your circumstances and needs.
Reference: Ventura County Star (Sept. 17, 2016) "Get to know estate planning documents."