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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 two parts.

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




Written by:
Sandra McKinnon, Consumer & Family Economics Specialist, University of Missouri Extension

Cynthia E. Crawford, Ph.D., Consumer & Family Economics Specialist, University of Missouri Extension








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