When many people think of estate planning in Minnesota, most assume it is for the elderly or the rich. However, it is never too early to start preparing for the future.
Estate planning has less to do with your income and age and more about how families can be prepared should something tragic happen. Estate planning includes not only after-death situations but also your wishes for your finances and health even when you are living.
A Will, Power of Attorney and Health Care Directive are common legal documents for those of any age. Each of the documents provides different securities and protections.
Last Will and Testament
A Last Will and Testament or “Will” is a legal document that dictates what will happen if tragedy occurs and you pass away. The document outlines what assets you have and who will inherit each. If you have children, a Will can establish guardianship if you passed away before the children turned 18 years old. A Will is customizable for your unique needs and wishes.
Power of Attorney
Unlike a Will, a Power of Attorney or “POA” is considered a “pre-death” document. A Power of Attorney authorizes a person of your choice to make financial decisions on your behalf if you are unable. For example, if you were in a coma, a Power of Attorney would allow your designated person to pay your bills or manage your property.
A Power of Attorney can be modified to fulfill your particular needs. A timeframe can be set for its length and limitations can be established. Common authorities found in a Power of Attorney include the power to manage banking, bills, litigations, investments, real estate, or contracts.
Health Care Directive
A Health Care Directive gives another person the ability to make medical decision for you if you are ever unable to make the decision yourself. For example, if you were on life-support, your Health Care Directive would authorize an individual to enforce your wishes to keep you on or take you off life-support equipment. The directive would specify your wishes for treatment, organ donations, and a funeral.
It is important to note that a Will, Power of Attorney, or Health Care Directive are not set in stone. They can be revoked or canceled at any time and a new document can take its place. As your situation changes, you may want to update it to insure its accuracy.
No matter your age, income, or situation, it is never too early to start a conversation concerning estate planning. If you are looking for more information regarding your options, contact our Minnesota estate planning attorneys today. Our legal team is prepared to answer your questions. To schedule your initial consultation, call our office at (763) 323-6555 or submit an online contact inquiry through our website.