Estate Planning Documents

Whenever you have a need to update your will or to make a will for the first time, you can meet with your attorney to discuss how you wish to have your assets distributed at your death.  A draft proposal  will be prepared for your review.  Once the final draft is ready, two witnesses are present, along with you and the attorney to have the will signed, witnessed and acknowledged.

Two other documents are normally reviewed and updated at the same time:  the Durable Power of Attorney (POA) and the Health Care Proxy (HCP).  Both may be used if you become incapacitated and are unable to act for your own benefit.

The POA specifies who is authorized to act on your behalf regarding financial and personal business matters while you are alive.  This instrument may list specific powers to make it clear to others that the designated person is duly authorized.

The HCP specifies your health care agent (often a family member), who is authorized to make health care decisions on your behalf.  This instrument provides guidance to the agent, so that decisions can be made in alignment with your desires.