There is so much to consider when you start to get serious about planning your estate it can be difficult to know exactly where to start. Taking the time to state your wishes through these three different types of wills is a good way to have all or most of your bases covered in one fell swoop.
When you think about estate planning the distribution of your assets is probably going to be the first thing that comes to mind, but there is more to your legacy than that. The life lessons that you learned and the ethical values that you embraced and subsequently lived by may well be the most useful things possessions that you have acquired. For centuries elders have taken the time to write out their ethical wills, leaving behind a written moral, ethical, and spiritual guide to help light the path for future generations.
Those who have reached the age 85 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population, and medical science has advanced by leaps and bounds. These realities have altered the landscape of elder law, making incapacity planning an important component of a comprehensive and well conceived estate plan. Through the execution of a living will you can elucidate your preferences concerning the types of medical procedures you would like to approve and those you would refuse in the event of your incapacitation.
Standard Will (& Testament)
Traditionally you would hear the term “last will and testament” used to describe the legal document that spelled out your final wishes in terms of the division of your assets. The “will” concerned your real property; the “testament” was the document used to record your wishes in terms of the distribution of your personal property. At present this vehicle is simply referred to as a will, and it is still the legal instrument that sits at the core of estate planning.