As discussed in the previous blog post (part 1of 2, Estate Planning Terms), it can be confusing trying to understand all of estate planning terms associated with estate planning. If you have any further questions of if you’d like to start your plan, consult with a qualified estate planning attorney.
Durable power of attorney: This legal document gives an agent the authority to make decisions for you when you are unable to do so yourself.
Living will: A legal document that allows you to outline your desires for medical treatment and procedures ahead of time. This document is often used to express whether an individual wants to remain on life support if he or she becomes terminally ill.
Incapacity: The lack of ability to act on your own behalf either mentally, physically, or legally.
Intestate: The act of dying without a legally valid will.
Testate: The act of dying with a legal will.
Fiduciary: A person with legal responsibility such as the trustee of a trust, the executor of a will, and agent under a power of attorney.
Joint Tenancy with Rights of Survivorship: The holding of property by two or more owners with a survivorship feature. Upon the death of one tenant, the survivor gains full ownership of the property by operation of law.
Revocable living trust: A trust that can be modified and altered by the grantor at any time during his or her lifetime so long as the grantor is well.
Probate: The legal process in which a will is reviewed to determine its authenticity and validity. Probate also refers to the administering of a deceased person’s estate. The process of probate can be extremely lengthy, costly and is made public. Many people plan their estate in a way that allows them to avoid probate.
If you have any questions about the above estate planning terms, consult with a qualified estate planning attorney. And, if you missed it, check out part 1 of 2, Estate Planning Terms.