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Author: Brenton McWilliams

Alabama Estate Planning: The Three Documents You Need for a Simple Estate Plan in Alabama

Everyone knows it’s important to have a Last Will and Testament. However, for many people, there are two other documents which may be as important or even more important than the Last Will and Testament.

Last Will and Testament

This is the most important document for planning the transfer of property. A properly drafted will can designate a person to serve as executor of the estate and relieve the executor from the requirement to purchase a bond, file an inventory, and request permission from the court for many routine transactions. This is especially important for dependent heirs who are dealing with a difficult grieving process and need quick access to the assets of the estate to continue to support themselves. Parents with minor children can also use a will to appoint a guardian to care for their children if both parents are deceased, and to transfer their property to a trust held for the benefit of the minor children to cover education, healthcare and other needs until the children reach adulthood.

Financial Power of Attorney/Durable Power of Attorney:

The financial power of attorney or durable power of attorney (different terminology is used) allows an individual to appoint someone to take care of their financial affairs, in the future, if circumstances arise where the individual is mentally or physically incapable of taking care of their financial needs on their own. The financial power of attorney is typically used to pay to day to day living expenses or arrange for medical care. The individual’s need for assistance can arise from cognitive or physical decline with age or from an injury which affects the individual’s cognitive or physical functioning.

Healthcare Power of Attorney/Living Will:

The healthcare power of attorney or living will is similar to the financial power of attorney, but it covers healthcare decisions rather than financial decisions. Using a healthcare power of attorney, the individual can grant authority to another person to make decisions concerning healthcare if the individual is physically or mentally incapable of making the decision for himself or herself.

If you need help with estate planning, please call me at (251) 215-9275 or write me on the contact page to discuss how I can help.