Estate Planning usually involves the creation of Wills and Trusts. It also includes areas such as the creation of durable powers of attorney, living trust, living Will, and other tax planning vehicles such as Crummy Trusts, Insurance Trusts, Bypass Trusts, Family Limited Partnerships, and other custom Trusts designed to take full advantage of the Tax code.
Living Trusts are an estate planning alternative to escape probate and guard your privacy of your estate while your living and additionally providing planning for your estate legacy.
A useful alternative to a living trust is the creation of durable powers of attorney. Powers of attorney allow someone to designate another person to make medical and financial decisions for them in the event that they are incapacitated. These documents are relevant only when someone is still alive and incapable of making decisions for themselves. In most cases, people designate a spouse and/or trusted family member or friend as trustee.
You may also feel the need to have a Living Will, which is also known as a Directive to Physicians. This document is a directive to your doctors to either apply or withhold life sustaining treatment in the event that you are either terminal or in an irreversible condition such that you will not live unless life support is applied.
When considering your estate planning, it is important to consider each of these aspects as part of a comprehensive estate plan.