Weekend Reading: 10 Estate Planning Documents You Need

This article appears as part of Casey Weade's Weekend Reading for Retirees series. Every Friday, Casey highlights four hand-picked articles on trending retirement topics and delivers them straight to your email inbox. Get on the list here.
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Weekend Reading

What’s one way you can help care for loved ones when you’re no longer around? Eliminate uncertainty around your estate, possessions and end-of-life care with a thoroughly-crafted estate plan.


It doesn’t need to be complicated, but it should include specific documents and directions, such as:

📌 Last will and testament: Your will is the most vital document you need, as it provides directions for who you wish to receive specific assets and property, in addition to tangible and intangible assets.

📌 Revocable living trust: This legal entity allows you to distribute possessions efficiently after you pass, but still grants you access to assets while living.

📌 Beneficiary designations: If you want assets to go to specific people and avoid probate, designating beneficiaries and keeping them current is incredibly important.

📌 Advanced Healthcare Directive: This allows you to specify medical care wishes in the event you are unable to do so. These documents usually contain a medical power of attorney and living will.

📌 Financial Power of Attorney: This individual is responsible for handling your real estate, paying your bills and putting money in your bank account.

📌 Funeral instructions and wishes: This doesn’t require an official form, but simply relays how you wish to be memorialized.

You might feel like planning ahead for your passing is uncomfortable or can wait, but the peace of mind it will provide to those you love most right now is priceless.