Estate Planning Terms You Should Know
A common misconception is that estate planning is only relevant after you are gone. While your estate plan does control who receives your property after your death, it can also ensure that your needs will be met during your lifetime.
We know that many are hesitant to bring up estate planning with their advisors. It is natural to avoid discussing death and disability. Other reasons include a strange vocabulary and unfamiliar terms.
To assist you in considering and discussing your estate plan, we prepared a short list of terms that you should know. Please contact our office to discuss.
Advanced Healthcare Directive/Living Will – The instrument that informs your doctors about your preferences for end-of-life care and extraordinary medical procedures, including those that could cause pain, discomfort or prolong the dying process.
Agent/Attorney-in-Fact – The person authorized to act on your behalf under your financial durable power of attorney and/or healthcare power of attorney.
Financial Durable Power of Attorney – The instrument used to nominate an agent/attorney-in-fact to manage your property and financial affairs on your behalf.
Grantor/Settlor – The creator of a trust.
Healthcare Power of Attorney – The instrument used to nominate an agent/attorney-in-fact to make medical decisions for you in the event you cannot communicate your decision for yourself.
HIPAA Authorization – Permits designated individuals (e.g., your healthcare agent) to obtain your protected health and medical information.
Personal Representative/Executor – The person responsible for carrying out the instructions set forth in your will/last will & testament.
Revocable Trust – The foundation of a trust-centered estate plan. It contains instructions for the care of you and your family in the event of your disability, as well as for the distribution of your assets upon your death.
Trustee – The person responsible for carrying out the instructions set forth in your revocable trust.
Will/Last Will & Testament – The document that controls the distribution of any property passing through your probate estate, i.e., not transferred to or titled in the name of your revocable trust.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss your estate plan, please contact our office. We can help give you peace of mind knowing that you will be taken care of during your lifetime and that your property will be distributed according to your wishes at death.