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Which documents should you include in your estate plan?

Any Arizona resident can create an estate plan. In addition to determining where assets go after you pass away, a tailored estate plan helps you manage your affairs while alive. Let’s take a look at a few key documents that should be included in any estate plan.

A will allows you to put your final wishes on paper

A final will and testament enables you to determine how assets remaining in your estate at the time of your death will be distributed. These assets may include an art collection, a vehicle or a house that was titled in your name. This document can also be used to appoint a guardian for any underage children.

Power of attorney documents take effect if you’re incapacitated

A financial power of attorney document appoints a person to manage your financial affairs if you are unable to do so yourself. The chosen agent can be given a variety of responsibilities such as paying bills, selling assets or making transfers between bank or brokerage accounts. You can also appoint a medical agent to oversee the type of care that you receive if you ever become unable to make those decisions yourself.

Living trusts provide more control over your assets

Putting assets into a trust may be an ideal way to control assets during your lifetime and after your death. They allow you to appoint someone who you trust to oversee those assets in the event that you become incapacitated. Furthermore, this individual will distribute the assets to beneficiaries in accordance with your instructions upon your death. As the items held in the trust are not considered to be part of your estate, they are not subject to probate. An estate planning attorney may be able to help you create this type of document.

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