What are the Three Pillars of Every Estate Plan?

When a person creates an estate plan, they are essentially making arrangements for how their assets and property is going to be disbursed and to whom after they have passed away. But that isn’t all. The truth is, there are a number of different things that need to be included in your estate plan. And today, we are highlighting three of these things that make a good estate plan and why they are so important to include in it.

  1. Every estate plan should include a living will. It is extremely important that you have a living will drawn up as you never know when you might come down with a serious illness and can’t make certain decisions such as how medical treatment is rendered. Some things you will address in your living will include:


  • What measures you want medical personnel to take to support your life if and when such measures become needed. Some of these measures might include temporary nutrition or breathing assistance. If you don’t stipulate this or have a power of attorney, which we will explain next, most health care professionals will “do everything within reason to sustain your life,” according to the Red Cross.


  1. Every estate plan should name someone as power of attorney. A power of attorney “gives someone the authority to make decisions for you if you become unable to handle your own affairs.” If you wish to, you can stipulate exactly what types of decisions you want this person to make. When deciding on who you want to name as power of attorney, be sure you choose carefully. This person should be someone you can trust and is clear on their responsibilities. Most people appoint a family member with this role, however, it is up to you. In the event you name someone as power of attorney and don’t stipulate what decisions you want them to be able to make, they will essentially be able to make both medical and financial decisions on your behalf so it is important that you discuss with this person what your wishes are.


  1. Your estate plan should include a will. A will is similar to a living will as it does express your wishes in how things are handled. However, a will generally states how you want your assets to be split, who you want your property to be given to, and how certain monetary obligations are going to be paid. Unlike a living will, your will takes effect after you have passed and serves as a guide for how you want your final wishes to be carried out.

If you need assistance with writing up your living will or want your estate plan to be reviewed for clarity and accuracy, USAttorneys.com can connect you with an estate planning lawyer in Louisville, KY who can help you with this.
At any time while you are still alive, you can amend your living will or your will as well as revoke the role of power of attorney you assigned to someone. It is also a good idea that you meet with a Louisville, KY estate planning lawyer when your circumstances have changed or you need to amend your documents so that the change is recorded properly and your wishes are accurately reflected in these documents.
If you live in Kentucky and haven’t yet created an estate plan or would like to have a Louisville, KY estate planning attorney review your will, USAttorneys.com can connect you with some of the best in the field.

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