Essential Estate Planning Documents

Legal Article

Essential Estate Planning Documents

Antonoplos & Associates Attorneys at Law has been serving the estate planning needs of clients in DC for more than 20 years. In addition to providing excellence, integrity, and credibility in our legal services, we also offer you the customized personal service that your family’s unique needs warrant. Our DC estate planning lawyer’s insistence on virtual 24/7 availability never takes us far from any sudden questions or late-breaking concerns you may have. From our experience, our estate planning attorneys have found the following five estate planning documents to be essential for every family.

Trust Documents

A living trust is created by a grantor during their lifetime. This document provides instructions for your family and friends in the event that you should become incapacitated. Furthermore, it also includes directions for the administration of your estate upon your death, which can help your family avoid the probate process.

Last Will and Testament

A last will and testament is a testamentary document that provides a set of instructions, to both your family and to the probate court, on how you’d like your estate to be handled. Most last wills provide clear instructions on how the testator, (the person making a simple will), would like their property distributed after his or her death. In addition to directing how assets are to be distributed, a last will and testament can also do many other important things.

Durable Power of Attorney

A durable or financial power of attorney allows you to appoint a financial agent who will your financial affairs. This includes the power to buy and sell and lease real property, tangible personal property, stocks, and bonds, to trade commodities, operation of a business or other entity, and governance over your bank accounts and other financial products you may own and a host of other powers.

Advanced Healthcare Directive

An advanced healthcare directive—also known as a health care power of attorney—is a legal document that is effective upon disability which appoints one or more persons, known as the attorney-in-fact, to make healthcare decisions during any period of incapacity. The health care power of attorney is only valid during your lifetime or until you revoke it. As long as you remain competent you can make any changes you like to your health care power of attorney.

HIPPA Authorization

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) generally prevents health care professionals and their supporting staff to disclose information. HIPPA authorizations will give your doctors permission to discuss your medical situation with others (parents, siblings, and close friends).

Nomination of Guardianship

The selection of a guardian for minor children is one of the toughest decisions that a parent has to make during estate planning. Understanding how to select guardians for your minor child ensures that your children will receive the financial and social care they need to succeed. The easiest way to select a guardian for your minor children is to utilize a nomination of guardianship.

Contact Our DC Law Office for More Information

Finally, for more on 5 essential estate planning documents, contact us at 202-803-5676. You can also directly schedule a consultation with one of our skilled attorneys. Additionally, for general information regarding estate planning, check out our blog.