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What is Estate Planning and Why Do You Need It

During these uncertain times, Henderson & Waterkotte, P.C. would like to provide you with an extra benefit, estate planning. Everyone has an estate, which is made up of everything you own – your car, home, real estate, investments, savings and checking accounts, life insurance, furniture, etc. Estate planning helps protect your family, life and future.

Many believe that a will is the only necessary document. And while a will is very important, Henderson & Waterkotte, P.C. highly recommends adding other documents that are perhaps more important than a will. These documents include a Power of Attorney and Healthcare Directive (also known as a Living Will).

Below is a brief explanation of each documents purpose:

Will ⇒ This document takes effect after you have passed and dictates how your property is distributed, at which age your kids (or other individuals of your choosing) are eligible to receive said property.

Power of Attorney ⇒ This document typically does not take effect until and unless you have become disabled or incapacitated. You would appoint an agent (typically a spouse) and also a backup agent in the event your first agent has predeceased you. Your agent is granted certain powers to essentially step into your shoes and act on your behalf, including signing documents on your behalf, dealing with banks, retirement plans, real estate transfers, etc.

Healthcare Directive (also known as a Living Will) ⇒ This document does not take effect until and unless you have become disabled or incapacitated. Again, you would appoint an agent and backup agent. This document expresses your wishes towards what life saving treatments you would like withheld in the event something tragic happens. It essentially is a document that would take very tough decisions away from loved ones (spouse, children, etc.) and instead allow them to simply follow the wishes you have expressed in the document.

Although it is highly recommended to have all three, that is your personal decision. The above descriptions of the documents are intended to simply give you an idea of what each document does and how it can protect you, your family, life and future.

Contact Henderson & Waterkotte, P.C. 24/7 to set up a consultation to discuss your estate planning options in greater depth.