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What is an Estate Plan?

An estate plan does a number of things to ensure that your assets and properties are divided and cared for in the way you wish. Estate planning documents can also provide medical directions on your behalf, in the event that you are unable to. Each estate plan differs depending on the size of an estate, the types of properties and financial accounts someone has, and personal preference.

Components of an Estate Plan

  • Wills: A will divides assets and properties, designating who will receive which assets. Additionally, it can appoint guardians for minor children and stipulate charitable donations.

  • Trusts: In essence, a trust allows the grantor to designate one person, a trustee, to manage property of another person, the beneficiary. For example, if Jane wanted her son, John, to have her home in the event of her death, but not until he was 18, she could make John the beneficiary and make a trusted adult relative the trustee to manage the home until John is able.

  • Living Trusts: A living trust is slightly different in that it is created while you are alive, and can help you and your loved ones avoid probate issues. Using the previous example, Jane could make herself the trustee and name John the beneficiary while she lives.

  • Power of Attorney: The power of attorney allows a person to appoint someone, typically a spouse or close family member, to act in their best interest, should they be unable to. This elected person can make financial decisions, handle payments and so on. There is also a healthcare proxy, or medical power of attorney, where you may designate a person to make any medical decisions on your behalf. You may appoint the same person for both, and can also assign alternates.

  • Advanced Healthcare Directive: Also called a living will, the advanced healthcare directive enumerates medical preferences and decisions. It can include whether or not you would like life support, in the event that you should need it, if you refuse resuscitation, and so on.


The Law Offices of Scott D. Hughes is a member of Wealth Counsel and lawyers here have the legal skills necessary to provide you with each of the estate planning documents you need. Don't wait to secure your family's future. Request your free consultation, today.

For help with your estate planning documents, contact Law Offices of Scott D. Hughes.

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