Estate planning is an important part of any person's life. Whether you're 18 or 88, estate planning is a way to take control of your life and your assets.
If you've decided to begin planning your estate, then it's time to look into the most important documents. If you're building your estate plan over time, getting these essential documents in place is a major boost to your plan's protective properties.
What are the most important documents in an estate plan?
One of the most important documents is your will. Your will gives others information on how you want to pass down your assets after you pass away. It gives you an opportunity to name beneficiaries and to get your finances in order. Overall, it helps cut down on the time your loved ones will have to spend in court after you pass away.
After your will, you need to establish a living will and health care power of attorney (HPOA). Your HPOA assigns a single person as the one who will make care-related decisions on your behalf if you're unable to do so yourself. For example, if you're in a severe car crash, that person would step in and begin to make medical decisions on your behalf.
You should also create your living will, since it outlines what you want to have happen in the case that you are unable to communicate, are terminally ill or are left incapacitated. This simple document can prevent suffering or guarantee that others don't make final life decisions that you wouldn't have.
These documents are among the most important in your estate plan. Creating them early starts your estate planning off right.