When you made a will you made decisions about where your money and property should go after you die. You are not done yet. A will is not the only document you should have in place when it comes to your estate plan.
In the will, you named an executor to take on the responsibility of ensuring everything goes according to your wishes. Consider additional documents for decisions that your executor cannot make.
1. Power of attorney for yourself
A will specifically covers what is to happen in the event of your death, but it is also responsible to prepare for a situation in which you become incapacitated and unable to make decisions for yourself. A power of attorney, sometimes called a financial power of attorney, will step in to make financial, business or legal decisions for you in the event you are unable to do so.
2. Medical power of attorney for yourself
A medical power of attorney will make decisions for you should you ever become so ill that you are physically or mentally unable to make decisions about your own healthcare. This can be the same person that you designate as your power of attorney, but there should be a separate document assigning this separate power.
3. Guardianship and conservator designations for your children
If you have minor children when you pass away, you need to plan for who will take custody and care for them. In addition to concern for their physical care, you should establish a conservator to manage the assets your children inherit from you until they reach the proper legal age.
If you have a sizable estate and want to make philanthropic designations for any part of your estate, creating an estate plan stating this desire is necessary. A will is only the first step in planning for the future. Professionals can help to determine the right documents to have in place for your specific estate.