Justin Raber Attorney at Law


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Documents needed for estate planning

Many West Virginia residents and others throughout the country know the importance of having a will in place. However, there is more to estate planning than simply drafting a will. There are additional documents necessary that can protect individuals who are still alive and others that will protect them after their deaths. Financial experts recommend having  power of attorney, health care power of attorney, living will and last will and testament.

One of the documents that may be used during a person's life is the power of attorney. This document specifies who would handle financial and business decisions for someone should he or she become unable to do so. The designated agent may be granted the authority to conduct real estate transactions or take actions on accounts and trusts. A health care power of attorney is combined with the power of attorney in some instances. However, this document is necessary for someone to make health care decisions and have access to medical information.

A living will gives specific instructions for the end of a person's life. Should someone become incapacitated, health care professionals will know how to provide treatment and determine if measures should be taken to prolong life. A last will and testament details someone's wishes after death. This document will provide direction on how a person's estate should be distributed.

Estate planning can be a complex process, and it is important to thoroughly understand the potential financial and tax implications involved. An experienced West Virginia estate lawyer can provide guidance to someone who needs a comprehensive estate plan. A knowledgeable attorney will work with clients to ensure that a plan is in place to protect their interests while they are alive and see that their wishes are carried out after they are gone.

Source: thenewsenterprise.com, "Basic documents for an estate plan", Cynthia Griffin, Sept. 2, 2017

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