Legal Documents Needed to Plan for Your Future

Many people delay creating important documents about their healthcare and finances because it’s commonly believed that only senior citizens need these documents. In fact, every adult should consult a lawyer in Tracy regarding documents such as a will, living will, and power of attorney. An accident can happen at any time and may leave you incapable of making your wishes known. By working with a lawyer who has expertise in estate planning, you can ensure that your loved ones will carry out your wishes.

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Devising a Will and Letter of Instruction

If you pass away without a will, the courts will determine how your property is to be distributed and who will gain custody of your minor children. Bring a list of your assets to your consultation with the lawyer. Your lawyer will create your last will and testament, distributing your property in accordance with your wishes. You may be as specific or as general as you would like. For example, you may wish to leave all of your property to your spouse. In the event that you survive your spouse, you can name your children or other individuals as secondary beneficiaries. Or, you may wish to leave specific items to specific people. Along with your will, it’s a good idea to create a letter of instruction . The letter of instruction will let your surviving loved ones know of your final wishes, such as your burial preferences. In your letter of instruction, you may also wish to leave important information that your loved ones will need, such as the locations and account numbers of all of your financial accounts.

Creating a Living Will

Your living will is a document that describes your healthcare preferences in the event that you are incapable of making decisions for yourself. For example, a living will might specify that you prefer to remain on life support or it may include a do not resuscitate (DNR) order.

Designating a Durable Power of Attorney

Your lawyer will draft the proper documents to designate your preferred durable power of attorney. This designates a particular person whom you trust to carry out actions regarding your finances in the event that you are incapable. Many people designate a healthcare proxy along with a financial proxy. Your healthcare proxy will make your healthcare decisions for you when you no longer can.