Estate Planning attorneys in Fairfax, Virginia, are often asked about what documents go into a solid estate plan. While the answer varies depending on your individual situation, there are five basic documents that are found in every estate plan checklist:
- Power of Attorney
- Advance Directive (Living Will )
- Health Care Power of Attorney
- Last Will and Testament
A Power of Attorney (POA) allows a designated agent access to your finances in order to pay bills and make financial decisions if you ever become incapacitated. The Power of Attorney ceases to be in effect at the time of death.
An Advance Directive (Living Will) sets out what kind of medical services you wish to receive if you are unable to convey your wishes directly to medical personnel. It is very important to consider what type of care you want in end-of-life situations.
A Health Care Power of Attorney names the person or persons you want to make medical decisions for you in case you are incapacitated. You should designate a health care agent who will be strong enough to make hard decisions.
HIPAA: The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, also known as HIPAA, protects the privacy of your health information. The act prohibits your health care providers from releasing your health care information to anyone not named on your HIPAA release form.
The Last Will and Testament comes into effect after you’ve passed away. It is a document that directs how you want your assets distributed after you’ve passed away.
Fairfax Estate Planning attorneys suggest that you have all of your documents reviewed every year in case there have been any updates to the laws that govern these documents.
If you have any questions about the documents listed on this estate planning checklist, please contact us us to set up a consultation by calling (571) 328-5795.