Five le­gal doc­u­ments every adult must have

Cecil Whig - - & & -

THE BIG FIVE There are five le­gal doc­u­ments every adult needs to have. Each one needs to be signed, dated, no­ta­rized as nec­es­sary and kept in a safe place that some­one else knows about and can re­trieve on a mo­ment’s no­tice.

No. 1. Liv­ing Will. Also called an Ad­vanced Di­rec­tive, this states what you want to hap­pen with re­spect to ex­tra­or­di­nary mea­sures to keep you alive should you be­come ter­mi­nal or per­ma­nently un­con­scious.

No. 2. Health­care Power of At­tor­ney. You need to name some­one who would make med­i­cal de­ci­sions on your be­half if you can­not make them your­self. Name up to five peo­ple.

No. 3. Durable Power of At­tor­ney. This is the doc­u­ment in which you des­ig­nate one or more peo­ple to han­dle the fi­nan­cial as­pects of your life should you be­come tem­po­rar­ily or per­ma­nently un­able to do so due to men­tal or phys­i­cal in­ca­pac­i­ta­tion.

No. 4. Will. If you have mi­nor chil­dren, this is where you will name their guardians should you pass. Your will re­gards the as­sets you hold in your name only and names the per­son who will han­dle those as­sets in your stead should you pass away .

No. 5. Re­vo­ca­ble Trust. This doc­u­ment avoids the pro­bate court process when some­one be­comes in­ca­pac­i­tated or dies. It does other things as well, but that is the most im­por­tant as­pect.

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