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Will and Testament Signing image Legal Documents title image

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 or incapacitated.


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 and physicians.


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 deaths.


A WILL

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.

Law scales "5 Documents You Need for Your Loved Ones" by Susan Kostal, Caring.com Senior Editor article title Married couple in prime of life enjoying outdoor weather

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.

Concrete columns with sunlight shining through Types of Power of Attorney title image

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.

Law scales with gavel Conservatorships title image

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.

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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.

Living Trusts and Estate Planning documents Trusts title image

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.

Last Will and Testament document with glasses Last Will and Testament title image