If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!. — Benjamin Franklin
With the passing of Prince last week and the recent revelation that he did not have a will, I thought I would talk about some documents we should all have for our piece of mind, security, and to help our loved ones when the time comes.
As we mature and have dependents that count on us, we need to consider how they depend on us and how we can plan for our future and theirs. To ensure you have the appropriate authority in place, health care directives, and that your intentions are clearly and legally defined, the following documents are the bare minimum you will need:
- Advanced Directive or Living Will
- Power of Attorney for Healthcare
- Power of Attorney for Finances
- HIPAA Release Form
- Beneficiary designations
- Letter of intent
- Guardianship designations
These items should be professionally sourced, signed, witnessed and notarized. As a security consideration, the original should be on file with your attorney, a copy in your safe, and a copy with your executor. It is also a good idea to have scans of these in a secure format that you can take with you in an emergency. You must make sure that all of these are maintained and updated and that they are stored as securely as possible.