Estate Planning: 101

1. Will -

a document that controls the who, what and how your heirs get your stuff.

2. Statutory Durable Power of Attorney -

a document that allows someone else to make business decisions for your related to your money and your property, including real, personal and SOCIAL Media.

3. Medical Power of Attorney -

a document that allows someone else to make medical decisions for you if you are unable to make them.

4. Advanced Directive (Living Will) -

a document that you tell your Doctors and loved ones how you want to be treated when you have a terminal illness or irreversible condition.

5. HIPPA Release -

a document that allows your medical providers to talk to someone other than you about your Health and care plan.

6. Appointment of Guardian

a. For an Adult - a document that allows you to select who you want (or don't want) to be your Guardian if the need arises. Guardianship is a court proceeding that can take away your rights to control your money and where you live.

b. For a minor - a document that allows you to select who you want (or don't want) to be your Child's Guardian if the need arises. A Natural parent ALWAYS has priority.

7. Appointment for Disposition of Remains -

a document that allows you to select who you want to be in charge of your final resting place and arrangements. This is especially important if you have certain religious beliefs about how you want (or don't want) your body to be handled, ie Cremation.

8. Payable on Death (P.O.D.) and Beneficiary designations.

These are contract documents with your insurance company, banks, investment accounts, etc. that allow you to determine who gets your money.

9. Real Estate and passing on your Property.

The State of Texas has laws in place that allow you to designate by deed who inherits your real property upon your passing, without having to go through Probate Court.