The WILL: to whom do you want your assets distributed?
A will allows you to provide for your family and friends after your death. If there are minor children then a trust can be established along with a trustee and a guardian of your choosing to care for the children. Whether you are just starting out in your career and establishing your nest egg, or have reached retirement, making a solid plan for your assets allows peace of mind for you and your loved ones.
POWER OF ATTORNEY: who will make financial and healthcare decisions for you?
A power of attorney is effective during your lifetime and ends upon your death. It can either be drawn up to be effective immediately upon signing or only in the event of a disability. This document allows you to appoint a person to stand in your place to make financial decisions for you (could be as simple as making sure the mortgage is paid if you are hospitalized or as complex as selling your home to pay for medical needs). A power of attorney also appoints a person to make healthcare decision for you when you are unable to without the need for a court appearance.
HEALTHCARE DIRECTIVE: What medical care do you want if you are in a terminal condition?
This document, also known as a Living Will, tells your physician and your loved ones what kind of treatment you do or do not want if you should ever be near death and unable to communicate your wishes. Most health facilities assume you want all available medical treatment, including life-sustaining care, unless you direct otherwise. The Healthcare directive takes a heavy burden off your family by allowing you to decide in advance when to stop life-sustaining treatment. It's much easier for your family to follow your wishes than to make that decision for you.