Estate planning is the process of making decisions about how you want your assets to be distributed after your death and who should make decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated.
Estate planning documents, such as a Will, financial power of attorney, health care power of attorney, and living Will, are essential in helping you achieve your estate planning goals.
Here’s a closer look at each of these documents and why they are important under Nebraska law.
Will: A Will is a legal document that allows you to specify how you want your property and assets to be distributed after your death.
If you die without a Will, Nebraska law provides default rules for distributing your property, which may not align with your wishes.
A Will can ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes and can prevent disputes among your heirs.
In your Will, you will appoint a personal representative who will be in charge of guiding your estate through the probate process. The personal representative will also manage the distribution of your assets in accordance with the terms of your Will.
If you have minor children, your Will would name a guardian to care for them until they become adults. Your Will can include a trust to manage assets left to young children.
Financial Power of Attorney: A financial power of attorney is a legal document that allows you to appoint someone you trust to manage your financial affairs if you become unable to do so yourself.
This can be especially important if you are incapacitated or unable to manage your finances due to illness or injury. A financial power of attorney can ensure that your bills are paid and your finances are managed properly during your incapacity.
Health Care Power of Attorney: A health care power of attorney is a legal document that allows you to appoint someone you trust to make medical decisions on your behalf if you become unable to make those decisions yourself.
This can be especially important if you are unable t communicate your wishes due to illness or injury.
A health care power of attorney can help ensure that your wishes regarding medical treatment are carried out, and can help prevent disputes among family members regarding medical decisions.
Living Will: A living Will is a legal document that allows you to express your wishes regarding end-of-life medical treatment if you become incapacitated and unable to communicate your wishes.
A living Will can help ensure that your wishes regarding life-sustaining treatment, such as resuscitation, artificial nutrition and hydration, and mechanical ventilation, are followed. This can help ease the burden on your loved ones during a difficult time and can ensure that your wishes are respected.
Estate planning documents are important in helping you achieve your estate planning goals and ensuring that your wishes are carried out in the event of incapacity or death.
Abrahams Kaslow & Cassman LLP has been assisting families with estate planning since 1944. Contact Sam O’Neill at [email protected] for more information.