A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it.
– Albert Einstein
Pay Special Attention if you fit any of the below:
- Have children
- Are married/partnered
- Are over the age of 30
Although estate planning may not be the most exciting topic, having your assets and your personal requests handled before an unfortunate situation occurs, eases stress for you and those who love you.
There are a few important legal documents* to get in order (especially if any of the above three categories apply to you). The first is called a Living Will, which expresses your medical preferences and names a health-care proxy (the one responsible for making medical decisions for you, should you be unable). Second is a Power of Attorney, giving someone of your choosing the right to make legal or health-care decisions for you if you are unable. Finally, a Last Will and Testament helps a probate court carry out your wishes after your death and, most importantly, names the guardians for your children.
While other document options exist, these three basic documents can provide an extra level of financial and legal protection. Without these plans in place, your assets can be held in probate court where state law determines who gets what property. Now it’s easier than ever to acquire these documents; no need to pay an attorney! Sites like LegalZoom and US Legal Forms have options to purchase bundles of these three documents starting at just $50.
Everyone should have some legally binding document outlining their final requests. However, if you’re not ready (or financially able) to spend the money on the documents above, look into ordering a Five Wishes document for only $5! This form meets the legal requirements for 42 United States (including Virginia) and can be used in conjunction with the documents above. Five Wishes covers spiritual wishes alongside the personal, legal, and medical wishes covered in standard forms.
*Be mindful that these documents are state-specific and will need to be updated if you move out-of-state.