Advance Health Care Directive (sometimes referred to as a Living Will)
A document in which you can designate individuals to make healthcare decisions for you. A broad range of decisions include end-of-life decisions, burial or cremation preference, or organ donation preference.
Durable Power of Attorney for Financial Management
A document in which you can designate individuals to make financial decisions for you. A broad range of decisions include continuing to pay your monthly expenses, bringing forth a lawsuit on your behalf, or updating account information.
An individual or corporation designated by you in your Will to handle the administration of your estate via probate. The Executor should be the one to act in the best interests of your estate and to ensure your wishes are carried out as you intended.
A document prepared in accordance with HIPAA rules. HIPAA is a federal act meant to protect the privacy of your medical records. This document will authorize named individuals to access your medical records during your incapacity and provide necessary information to requesting parties.
While a Pour-Over Will is similar to a Will (as defined below), it is used in conjunction with a Revocable Living Trust. The Pour-Over Will is meant to serve as a protective document in case there are assets that you have forgotten to transfer to your Revocable Living Trust. The Pour-Over Will ensures that these forgotten assets "pour-over" into your Revocable Living Trust and are administered in accordance with the Trust terms.
Probate is the court-supervised process of the distribution of your assets. An Executor will be appointed to administer your estate in accordance with your wishes as set forth in your Will, or if none exists, according to the intestate law of your state of residence. Each state has different probate rules and procedures.
Revocable Living Trust
A document which provides for the distribution of your assets upon your death, but also protects you during incapacity. The Revocable Living Trust is an amendable document. A Trustee is named in your Revocable Living Trust to make sure you are taken care of financially during incapacity, and that your beneficiaries are protected upon your death. With a properly funded Revocable Living Trust, there should be no Probate necessary.
Special Needs Trust
A Special Needs Trust can be used to hold and protect a beneficiary's inheritance in a manner that would not disqualify him or her from receiving SSI, Medicaid, or other needs-based public assistance. Assets in a Special Needs Trust can be used as a resource for those items not covered by governmental benefits, such as therapies, special equipment, or other items.
An individual or corporation designated by you in your Revocable Living Trust to administer your estate according to the terms of your Revocable Living Trust. The Trustee will be responsible for managing the estate for the benefit of your beneficiaries and protecting their interests, while acting as a trusted fiduciary.
A document that provides for the distribution of your assets upon your death. The Will is submitted to Probate and a local court will supervise the administration. If you have minor children, the Will also contains guardian nominations for your children.