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Estate Planning Series* (3 of 7): Establish your Directives

A well-rounded estate plan should include your important legal directives.

A TRUST may be appropriate for you. What you would do is out your assets into a revocable living trust and select a trustee to manage the assets for your benefit (and for your beneficiaries). With a trust, if you become ill, incapacitated or die, your selected trustee can take over. One of the beneficial aspects of having a trust is that upon death, the trust transfers over to your designated beneficiaries, bypassing probate. (Probate can be lengthy and costly for your beneficiaries).

MEDICAL CARE DIRECTIVES, known as a living will, lines out what your wishes are for medical care if you are unable to make the decisions for yourself. Basically, you can give a trusted person medical power of attorney for your health care, to have them make decisions for you if you cannot. Sometimes these are combined and it is called an Advance Health Care Directive.

DURABLE FINANCIAL POWER OF ATTORNEY will allow someone to manage your financial 

affairs if you are medically unable to.  What you do is designate a trusted agent to act on our behalf in legal and financial situations, when you are unable to. This can include paying your bills and taxes, as well as accessing & managing your assets.

LIMITED POWER OF ATTORNEY is useful if the idea of delegating everything over to someone else is concerning to you. With this, it imposes LIMITS on the powers of your named Representatives. For example, there could be a limit that the designee can only sign papers for the closing of a real estate transaction, or to cash in a bond to pay for medical expenses, or to sell Stock.

BE VERY MINDFUL OF WHO YOU SELECT AS YOUR POWER OF ATTORNEY. This person, (or these people), may have your life and financial well being in their hands.  You might consider assigning financial and medical representation to different people, with a back-up, just in case.


This article is meant to provide background information and should not be considered legal guidance.

For more about our Estate Planning Team nd Services, reach out to us today:

(916) 572-1117 or


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