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Basic estate planning documents to execute before age 40

| May 13, 2021 | estate planning |

You may have hit many life milestones by the time you reach 40. You may have graduated college, purchased your first home and have had children. It is a busy season of life, but one that can be greatly rewarding. Yet in the busyness one essential task you do not want to forget: executing an estate plan. The following are some basic documents those in Severna Park will want to consider including in their estate plan.

A will and possibly a trust

Most people already know that a will and possibly a trust forms the backbone of most estate plans. In a will or trust you can dictate how you want your assets distributed among your heirs. If you have minor children, you can also name a guardian for them in your will. A guardian is the person who will care for your child should you and your child’s other parent pass away before the child is grown. Wills must go through the probate process. Trusts have the advantage of avoiding probate, but they may be more complex than a simple will. Some people choose to have both a will and a trust.

Health care and financial powers of attorney

Another two documents you will want to include in your estate plan is a health care power of attorney and a financial power of attorney. A health care power of attorney designates a person to make health care decisions on your behalf should you become incapacitated. A financial power of attorney will manage your financial affairs should you become incapacitated. You can name the same person to fulfill both these roles, or you can choose two different people to fulfill these roles.

A living will

Finally, you may want to execute a living will. A living will is different from your last will and testament. In a living will, you will dictate what type of end-of-life care you want should you become incapacitated. For example, you can say whether you want to be put on life support or if you want CPR performed. Living wills serve as your voice should you be incapacitated to ensure your wishes are followed.

Learn more about estate planning

Having a basic estate plan is a good start towards planning for your future. Even young adults can benefit from estate planning. After all, no one can predict when they will become incapacitated or pass away. This post is for educational purposes only and does not contain legal advice. Those in Severna Park who want further information on estate planning are invited to explore our firm’s website to learn more about this important topic.