Estate planning should be based on the individual needs and desires of plan creators. While many of the estate planning tools that are included in individuals’ end of life plans focus on how their property will be dealt with after their deaths, some serve the important role of providing guidance on estate matters when the planners are still alive. Although it may not seem like living individuals should need documentation to support their wishes regarding their lives, incapacitation and illness can rob them of their abilities to communicate their plans and wishes. In the event of incapacitation and illness, individuals can put into place powers of attorney to help them.
Powers of attorney can cover financial and healthcare topics. A financial power of attorney can discuss how a person wants their money invested and saved, what accounts exist and what expenses should be paid, and who has the right to direct the use of their funds during their incapacitation. Similarly, a healthcare power of attorney provides instruction on how a person’s medical care should be handled if they are not able to make decisions on their own.
Administrators are named in powers of attorney that hold the powers to enforce and follow the terms of the legal documents that create their positions. The duties of administrators can differ, and it is crucial to get specific information about estate planning options. No two estate plans are the same and some options may be better for people in one situation than in others.