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What Do You Get in an Estate Plan?
A Will: in a will, you can designate things like who will raise your minor children, who gets any assets of yours that do not pass automatically, and other specific bequests.
A Trust: there are as many different kinds of trusts as things you might want to do with them. Basically, a trust is something you create to hold assets for the benefit of somebody else. You might, for example, create a trust that receives all of your assets so that income can be used by your spouse during his/her lifetime but ultimately distributes the assets to your children. Another type of trust can be used to minimize estate taxes or protect your assets from some of the costs of long-term care.
A Health Care Proxy: this designates the person you want to make medical decisions for you if you are incapacitated.
A Durable Power of Attorney: this designates the person you want to make financial and legal decisions for you if you are incapacitated.
There are other things you can include in your estate planning, including a Realty Trust, a Pet Trust, a Medicaid Trust or a Special Needs Trust, but these are the basics.
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