Updated: Oct 16, 2018
Wedding season is over and now is the time for newlyweds to think about their estate plans. This post breaks down the components of a basic estate plan and the role these documents play in a marriage.
Durable Power of Attorney
A Durable Power of Attorney (POA) is a legal document that grants an individual (referred to as the "agent") the authority to make decisions on behalf of another individual (referred to as the "principal"). There are two types of POAs, healthcare and financial. In many marriages, partners will appoint each other as their respective agents. A POA can be useful when a spouse is either in the hospital or in any way unable to make decisions at a given time. When this happens, the agent (usually the other spouse) can step in and make key decisions on behalf of the principal.
Health Care Directive
Often referred to as a "living will," a health care directive is a document one can use to outline his/her medical treatment preferences. An agent (listed in the POA) can refer to the health care directive for guidance when making health care decisions on behalf of the principal. Having a health care directive can alleviate some of the stress and pressure off of the agent because he/she knows they are following the principal's wishes.
Last Will and Testament
A last will and testament outlines the final plans and wishes of an individual. While death is an uncomfortable subject, having a Will clears up questions as to how an estate should be administered and who is responsible for administering the estate. Married couples can specify exactly what they would like to leave for each other and other loved ones. For example, married couples often include a testamentary marital trust in their Wills. This is a trust that would form upon the death of the testator with the purpose of providing for the surviving spouse and avoiding potential estate taxes.
At Sekhon Law PLLC, we recognize that all married couples would benefit from an estate plan. You can book your consultation via phone, email, or our online booking page https://www.sekhonlawpllc.com/book-online
Disclaimer: The purpose of this post is to provide general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By accessing this blog site you understand that there is no attorney-client relationship between you and Sekhon Law, PLLC. This post should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.