No matter your life situation or your age, everyone needs an estate plan to detail their wishes and provide peace of mind for their family.
A basic estate plan consists of only three documents, that together will cover the basic issues you may face in the event of a tragedy.
Last will and testament
A will can provide three main services for your family in the event of your death.
Distribute your assets according to your wishes.
Without a will, the probate court distributes your assets according to Oregon’s inheritance laws. This may not represent your wishes.
Name a guardian for your minor children.
Appointing the right people to raise your children is of primary importance to parents of young children.
Appoint an executor to oversee the execution of your will.
Appointing someone you trust to act fairly and according to your wishes can provide peace of mind.
A will is only triggered upon your death. The next documents are critical if you are alive but cannot make your own decisions.
Advance health care directive
This document allows you to articulate your wishes regarding life support, feeding tubes and other medical interventions if you become critically or terminally ill. Writing your wishes down is a gift to your loved ones.
Durable power of attorney
This document allows the person you name to act as your agent should you be unable to make decisions on your own; for instance, if you are in a coma. Naming someone you trust avoids the court appointing a stranger to make these decisions instead.
By executing these three documents and putting a basic estate plan in place you can provide peace of mind for yourself and your loved ones.