If protecting your family is #1 on your priority list, the easiest way to do so is to put all of your agreements in writing. And you should put all the documents in secure place that were created to protect your family.
Here is list the list of 5 Most Important documents:
1. The Will
The first document you need to complete is a Will. A Will puts all of your wishes into writing. You decide where/who your assets are distributed to, as well as who you want to care for your children. This is important to create because there will be less “guesswork” for your loved ones after passing.
2. Power of Attorney (POA)
The next document you will want to have in place is a Power of Attorney (POA). a POA gives legal permission to someone you choose to act on your behalf if you are unable to do things such as sign legal documents, make payments towards bills, etc. Your POA should be someone you fully trust; seeing as they will become your primary decision maker.
3. Health Care Proxy
Another important document you’ll want to have in place is a Health Care Proxy. This term means that you allow someone that you choose to make any decisions regarding your health. Again, you will want to choose someone you trust, and that you know will make the right decisions for you and your family.
4. Revocable Living Trust
One major item you may want to consider, especially if you have young children, is creating a Revocable Living Trust. A Trust states exactly how you want your assets split. Having a Trust set up will save your family time by allowing them to avoid probate, as well as stress from having to figure everything out for themselves. There are many kinds of Trusts you can create for your family, but a Revocable Living Trust gives you, the trustee, the most control.
5. Guardianship Documents
Lastly, an extremely important document to have in place to protect your family, especially your children, is Guardianship Documents. This document states who will raise your children, should something happen to you. This gives the Guardian you choose for your children to make decisions regarding your children’s health, education, etc. The one thing to keep in mind when choosing your Guardian, is to think long-term. You’ll want to think about who will care for your children short-term (right after accident/passing), before your long-term Guardian can get your children (if they live out of state).
All of these items we covered are all equally as important when it comes to protecting your family, before and after passing. The process of getting your legal documents set up can be extremely overwhelming, but you can get help of a good Law Firm, they will take the stress out of it for you.