Creating an estate plan is an important step for Virginia residents. An estate plan helps ensure that your assets undergo distribution according to your wishes after your death. It also helps your loved ones establish financial security in your absence.
There are several important documents to include in a simple estate plan.
Last will and testament
About 67% of Americans acknowledge not having wills, meaning they leave the responsibility of distributing their assets up to their respective states. Drafting a will helps you specify where you want your assets, such as property, savings and personal belongings, to go upon your death. You can also name a guardian for your minor children in your will if necessary.
A living will outlines your preferences for medical treatment if you become unable to make decisions due to illness or injury. It covers issues like life support, organ donation and pain management, ensuring that your wishes with regard to health care come to fruition.
Financial power of attorney
A financial power of attorney designates a trusted individual to manage your financial affairs in case you suffer incapacitation. This person can pay bills, manage investments and make financial decisions on your behalf.
Health care power of attorney
Similar to a financial power of attorney, a healthcare power of attorney appoints someone to make medical decisions on your behalf if you cannot do so yourself.
You always have the option of incorporating trusts or other estate planning tools into your plan later as your financial situation changes. However, having these important estate documents allows you to maintain control over your affairs even after your death.