Is your home built upon the rock or is it built upon the sand?
Building Blocks of a Christian Estate Plan
Our home includes us as individuals, our families, and our valued possessions. It is important that we build our home on a solid foundation to ensure that it offers the best protection at the times when we need the most protection.
There are several legal documents available to each of us that can be considered the building blocks of an effective estate plan. These blocks are readily available and can be custom designed for each individual.
The cornerstone is the Last Will and Testament. With this document we choose who will receive our assets at death, and we can choose how the assets will be given, i.e., outright or in trust. We choose our children’s guardians, the executor of our estates, and the trustee of any trusts that may be needed or required. Without the Will, all of these decisions are made by the State of North Carolina.
A Durable Power of Attorney document allows us to choose a trusted person to make financial decisions on our behalf should we become mentally incapacitated. This can be either very limited in scope or all encompassing.
The Living Will allows individuals to choose whether or not they want life prolonging medical care when it has been determined that their health situation is terminal and irreversible. An individual can and should make that decision when in good health and in an unpressured situation.
A Health Care Power of Attorney is a legal document that individuals use to choose someone to act on their behalf in making medical decisions. This can be coupled with the Living Will so that certain medical decisions are already made by the person executing the document.
These are all important building blocks for an effective estate plan. Proper legal assistance is advised and, by all means, store the documents in a safe place where they can easily be found by family members.