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What Does a Comprehensive Estate Plan Consist of Other Than a Will?

A comprehensive estate plan controls your assets and health decisions. It contains much more than just your last will and testament.

 

It should include a power of attorney and an advanced directive. It can include trusts for your children, grandchildren, favorite charity, or even a beloved pet as well.

 

A Power of Attorney (POA)

A Power of Attorney allows you select a person you trust to make financial or health-related decisions when you’re incapable of making them on your own. Be sure to inform your agent you’ve granted him or her this responsibility and provide this person with as much instruction as you can.

 

A living will or advanced directive

Sometimes called an advanced directive, a living will is a document that states your wishes in certain health-related scenarios. It lets you spell out exactly what you want done in specific cases. Often it involves what might happen if you’re in a coma or cannot be resuscitated.

 

A living trust

In a living trust, you set aside certain assets outside of your last will. This keeps them from going through the probate process, which can be expensive and slow. Usually, the taxes on assets in your trust are less severe than traditional estate taxes are.