As summer turns to fall, the change of seasons provides an opportunity for reflection, perhaps on a relaxing summer vacation or to refocus on a task list that has been set aside. If you are taking a minute to reassess your goals and priorities, why not also take a look at your life plan. If you are a child of an aging parent or an individual, as most of us are, who has emotional ties to a loved one, has acquired assets in life, whether financial or material, it’s imperative to establish a solid estate plan.
What is an Estate plan? The term itself has many meanings. However, one thing is for sure, every good estate plan should include, at a minimum, some combination of the following documents:
- Last Will and Testament
- Revocable Standby Trust
- Durable Power of Attorney
- Health Care Proxy
- HIPAA Authorization and Release
- Living Will
- Declaration of Homestead
- Emergency Guardianship Proxy (for minor children)
Of course the above outline is only intended as a general guideline. Each individual’s personal situation will include some or all of these documents as a starting point. You should always consult with an experienced estate planning attorney to determine how to best tailor an effective estate plan to your particular situation.