Estate Planning

Six Critical Documents for Creating a Comprehensive Estate Plan

Many people think that having an estate plan simply means writing a will or having a trust. This article sets out the six critical documents you will need to create a comprehensive estate plan.

As you, your parents, or other family members get older, it is a good idea to have an estate plan in place. These six documents will get you started creating your estate plan.

  1. Last Will and testament

A last Will and testament is a description of what will happen to your assets after you pass away. This includes, but is not limited to, your estate, property, possessions, money and children. The penalties of not having a Will are quite serious; the government will likely divide your property, irrespective of your intended wishes.

  1. Lasting power of attorney for property and financial affairs

The lasting power of attorney for property and financial affairs allows the individuals you select to help you with your finances if you lose mental capacity.

  1. Lasting power of attorney for health and welfare

The lasting power of attorney for health and welfare is a document in which you select someone to be your representative in the event you are unable to make or communicate decisions about all aspects of your healthcare. In the most basic form, a healthcare power of attorney merely states: 'I want this individual to make decisions about my healthcare if I am unable to do so'.

  1. Advance directives

This is a written statement of an individual’s wishes regarding medical treatment, often including a living Will, made to ensure those wishes are carried out should the person be unable to communicate them to a doctor or medical practitioner.

  1. Funeral wishes

Funeral wishes are the choices, decisions and personal reflections giving clarity and detail about what you would like to take place following your passing from this life, in the period up to and including your funeral ceremony. This detail would not usually go in a Will, but would be invaluable guidance for your friends and family to have written down.

  1. SecureTheFile digital archive

SecureTheFile provides you with a secure, easy-to-access, digital archive to store everything you need throughout your life and that your loved ones might need should something happen to you, (including intangible or emotional assets).

Find out more about how it works.