Finance Quick Answers
What are some important documents that I should make sure I have?
There are five essential documents that virtually every adult should have to meet their responsibilities to others:
1. A Trust or a Will - Your will tells how you
want your estate distributed when you die. Trusts are
more complex but offer greater flexibility and sometimes
greater control. You need one or the other.
2. A Letter of Instruction - contains
information on financial documents, bank accounts,
funeral arrangements, how to contact financial legal
advisors, and who to notify about your death.
3. A Durable Power of Attorney - essential to
authorize an individual to conduct your legal or
financial affairs on your behalf should you become
incapacitated. An advanced directive for health care has
4. A Living Will - states what medical actions
you do or do not want taken to keep you alive if you are
terminally ill or incapacitated.
5. A Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care
- designates someone to make sure the instructions in
your living will are carried out.
Visit your financial planner and an attorney to
discuss these essential documents.
Source: "Five Documents You Must Have," 4 Bits, Staff - Aug.Sept 96, p. 2
Sandra McKinnon, Consumer & Family Economics Specialist, University of Missouri Extension
Cynthia E. Crawford, Ph.D., Consumer & Family Economics Specialist, University of Missouri Extension
Last update: Saturday, July 26, 2008