General Estate Planning Documents
WILL – who inherits “probate” assets at your death and who is in charge.
- Probate assets-assets titled in your name only with no joint owner and no beneficiary named.
- Probate-court proceeding.
TRUST –who inherits trust assets at your death and who manages trust assets during your life and after your death.
- Trust assets-assets titled in the trustee’s name as trustee of your trust.
- No probate.
DURABLE POWER OF ATTORNEY – who has access to and can manage your non-trust assets during your life.
- May not permit your agent to access Medicaid and VA benefits if not drafted with those programs in mind.
- Ends at death.
HEALTH CARE SURROGATE – who makes medical decisions if you can’t.
- Can now be drafted to be effective immediately.
LIVING WILL – instructions about machines if at end of life and no chance of recovering or regaining capacity.
DO NOT RESUSCITATE – medical order that says do not RESUSCITATE me if I have cardiac (heart attack) or respiratory failure.