Having an effective estate plan is important for everyone which is why it is important to understand the different estate planning documents. If you are considering estate planning, you may have questions about what the different estate planning tools are.

There are a variety of estate planning documents that should be included in any estate plan. The first is an advanced healthcare directive. An advanced healthcare directive outlines the estate planner’s wishes for their medical care and treatment if they become incapacitated. It can also designate the person the estate planner wants to handle their medical care if they are unable to do so for themselves. Similarly, a power of attorney is also an important part of an estate plan which can designate and individual to handle the estate planner’s finances if they become incapacitated. A HIPAA release form is also an important part of an overall estate plan.

A validly executed will, of course, should also be included in any estate plan. Because the requirements for a will to be valid vary by state, you should know what the requirements are in your state. A will includes the estate planner’s wishes for how they want their property to be distributed. A trust is another way to transfer assets that can provide many advantages but can also be complex so it is important to understand the ins and outs of trusts.

Estate planning tools are available to estate planners to ensure they have an estate plan that aligns with their wishes and works for them. Estate planning tools provide flexibility and estate planners should be familiar with all their options.