Putting your affairs in order with an estate plan will make for a smoother transition to the loved ones you leave behind. This is especially important if you plan to travel. Before you hit the road or jet set away this summer, make sure you’ve got these essential documents in order. The preferred ending to your trip is a return home with some new wonderful memories. However anything can happen while traveling, and being prepared will prevent your family from facing additional stress winding up your estate in the event of a tragedy.
An estate plan should include at least these four key documents: will, medical power of attorney, durable (financial) power of attorney and a living will. However, there are many other documents that may address the specific needs of your situation.
A properly executed Last Will and Testament assures that your property passes to the loved ones that you choose. The preparation of a will can be accomplished simply by writing it in your own handwriting and signing it, but it is safer to use an attorney to draft your will and supervise its execution.
Durable (Financial) and Medical Power of Attorney
Powers of attorney allow you to name who should handle your finances and make medical decisions if you are unable. Furthermore, there are separate documents for financial and medical decisions so that you can easily name different people for these tasks if you wish.
Directive to Physicians (Living Will)
Directive to Physicians is the Texas document known as a living will. The purpose of a living will is to provide direction to medical professionals and loved ones on the type of care you wish at the end of your life. A list of specific procedures that should or should not be performed can be included. A person can be named to make decisions for you if you are unable to make decisions for yourself.
Other Important Documents for Specific Needs
- Declaration of Guardian in Advance of Need (Adult Guardianship)
- Appointment of Guardian (Child’s Guardianship)
- Organ Donation
- Disposition of Remains