Making arrangements well before you are likely to die is not something that many people like to do, but even so, it makes things easier for you and those that have to deal with your estate if you haven’t organised anything in advance. Dying ‘intestate,’ which is the term used if you haven’t arranged a will in advance of your death can mean that your assets are distributed to those you never wished them to go to, or in any case it can mean a lot of hard work, confusion and acrimony amongst those who have to sort it all out.
To understand what important documents you need to fill out when you make a will you should really see an estate solicitor, although if you have the time and patience you can learn how to make a will through specially designed “will packs” and online prescriptions.
These are a sample of some of the most important documents you should really fill out before death.
Last Will and Testament
The last will and testament is probably the most important legal document you should fill out before death. In fact, it is something that should be filled out well before death in case you become mentally incapacitated before death.
There are two main functions of the will. The most important function is to determine who should receive your assets after death. You can distribute them anyway you like as long as the details are clearly established. Some of the problems after a will is released happen when the instructions are not easy to understand and there are contradictions or insufficient information to establish who is to receive what. An estate lawyer can help prepare a good will.
The second function is to determine the guardians of any dependent children that are surviving after your death if you die prematurely.
Establishing A Trust
You might decide to establish a trust if the beneficiaries of your estate after death are minors or are for some reason disabled mentally or unable to care for themselves. Instead of receiving assets directly they are maintained in trust for them. The details of the trust establish who the trustees are, when the assets managed by the trust are distributed, who they are distributed to and how they should be managed. The term “living trust” is often used to describe a trust that is in existence when you are still alive yourself.
Power Of Attorney
You might decide to nominate a Power of Attorney before death if you think that you may not be able to make your own arrangements in the near future. The Power of Attorney should ideally be someone you trust. It may be your own lawyer, or an impartial relative, a friend or colleague or someone else you know well and trust. The Power of Attorney will be designated the person who will manage your affairs and assets while you are still alive if you are incapable of doing that yourself. A medical Power of Attorney may be appointed to take charge more specifically of your health and wellbeing while still alive but incapacitated for one reason or another.