These documents will ensure that you can assist your loved ones in a medical or financial
emergency and, at their deaths, ease the distribution of their estate.
A MEDICAL DIRECTIVE
Also known as a living will or advance health care directive, this document sets
out what kind of care your loved ones want to receive if and when they become ill
A DURABLE POWER OF ATTORNEY FOR HEALTHCARE AND HIPAA RELEASE
A durable power of attorney for healthcare allows you to make healthcare decisions
for your loved ones. A HIPAA release gives you access to your their health records
A DURABLE POWER OF ATTORNEY FOR FINANCES
A durable power of attorney for finances allows you to manage your loved ones' financial
affairs, pay bills, sell property, and so on.
A REVOCABLE LIVING TRUST
It allows your loved ones to retain control over their estate while making transfers
of assets to beneficiaries. They designate what property (home, investments, jewelry,
and so on) goes into the trust and to whom it will be granted. During their lifetimes,
they act as executors of their own living trust. A revocable living trust has an
important advantage: it allows their estate to avoid probate at the time of their
A will makes clear who will receive your loved ones' assets and personal property.
A properly written will helps to avoid disagreements over estate after their deaths.
A power of attorney is a document that allows you to appoint a person to handle your
affairs while you're unavailable or unable to do so.
Conservatorship is a legal proceeding to appoint someone (conservator) to care for
the personal needs of an incapacitated person (conservatee) and his or her assets.
The conservator becomes responsible for making decisions for the conservatee.
Living wills are one part of advance directives and describe your treatment preferences
in end-of-life situations. Unexpected end-of-life situations can happen at any age,
so all adults need advance directives.
It is important to understand the basic concept of a trust. In a general sense, a
trust is nothing more than an arrangement whereby one person agrees to hold property
for the benefit of another.
In the strictest sense, a "will" has historically been limited to real property while
"testament" applies only to dispositions of personal property, though this distinction
is seldom observed today.