Wills are comprehensive legal documents that transfers a person's property after they have passed away. Wills can be very complex or in many cases, very simple. Generally, a Will describes the individuals who will receive specific property, who will administer the property and any special instructions relative to the descendant's wishes.
Trusts are comprehensive legal documents that help a person manage their property during their lifetime and it also serves as a mechanism to ensure an easy transition of property after a person's death. There are various types of Trust documents that can be used to meet the specific needs of any person. The most common type of trusts used is the Revocable Trust, which is created during a person's lifetime and able to easy be modified or revoked.
Durable Power of Attorney
A financial power of attorney which complies with the laws of the state selected. Options vary among states, but may include optional powers for gifting, designating beneficiaries, and options for nominating guardians and/or conservators. The option to draft a "durable" or "springing" power of attorney is available where permitted.
Health Care Directive/Power of Attorney
A form that allows the principal to name a health care agent to make decisions about the principal's health care treatment in the event the principal is unable to do so. Options for expressing the principal's wishes relating to health care are also included in many jurisdictions, to the extent permitted.
A form (often referred to as a "living will" or "advanced directive") allowing the principal to give instructions regarding medical care and life-sustaining treatments. This form is offered in jurisdictions in which a separate form of living will is used. It is not offered in jurisdictions in which a combined form of living will/health care power of attorney is provided.
If you or a loved one is seeking advice or guidance on completing your estate plan, a Kansas City Estate Planning Attorney can assist. Contact our office directly at (816)-319-0508.