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will trust estate planning

Wills

Your will instructs the court on what to do with your property (your “estate”) after you die.  You can name beneficiaries as well as a first and second choice for your personal representative and trustee of any trusts you establish.  Most important for parents, you can also name a first and second choice for a guardian of your children if you and your spouse both die while they are minors.

Financial Power of Attorney

A financial power of attorney (referred to as a durable power of attorney) allows another person to handle your financial affairs when you are unable to do so yourself.  Typically it will allow your “agent” to access your bank accounts as well as make decisions regarding your finances.  It can also include the authority to sell real estate, if necessary.

Health Care Power of Attorney

A health care power of attorney can authorize another person to access your personal medical information as well as make decisions about your medical care if you are unable to.  It can also include specific instructions about your end-of-life care and after-death arrangements.

Special Needs Trust

In some circumstances, receiving money from a standard trust may disqualify someone from receiving public assistance. This can be a concern for anyone that receives, or may need to receive in the future, medical assistance (Medicaid) or social security disability income. A special needs trust can be used to allow the person to benefit from the Trust and not be disqualified from receiving public benefits.

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