When most people first contact my office, they are asking about a will or a trust. Their financial advisor told them they need those documents. They have a specific plan for their will. But what they don’t always consider is that there are other things that can complement your will. My friend Tony (an excellent financial advisor) does a great job of explaining to his clients that there are other decisions to consider. His clients are just as likely to contact me for those other documents as they are for a will. With Tony’s help, I put together a checklist, My Personal Planning Essentials, that my clients can use with their will. In our checklist, we have a list of a few of the other common documents:
Do I Need These Other Documents?
When I discuss these other documents with my clients, their first question is:
Do I Need These?
For most people, the answer is a resounding YES. You may not need all of them, but each of them can be important supplements to your will. In fact, in many cases, these documents can be more important than your will.
The health-related documents (healthcare power of attorney, living will and HIPAA authorization) are often invoked before your will is even needed. These documents assist you when you are unable to speak for yourself. If you have been in a car accident, the doctors don’t know your wishes regarding medical treatment. These documents allow a loved one (or a trusted friend) to make informed decisions on your behalf. In my opinion, every adult should at least have a health care power of attorney in place.
The general power of attorney handles other non-health related decisions that need to be made. Especially if you have a business or own real estate that you are renting out that is owned solely in your name, a general power of attorney can make matters easier if you become incapacitated. Your loved one or trusted friend can manage things for you. Hopefully, you are able to recover and find that your financial affairs are still in good order.
P.S. If you don’t have a financial advisor, email me and I will introduce you to Tony…
If you need to create a will or if you have a will but none of the other documents, please give me a call and we can discuss some options for you – (877) AMAYERS.