Hyden, Miron & Foster, PLLC Law Blog

Friday, April 20, 2018

What Every Estate Plan Should Have

Do you have an estate plan?

It is estimated that fewer than half of all Americans have an estate plan. Without an estate plan, your assets will be distributed by the court to your closest relatives. You will be left without a say in who receives your assets or who will care for your minor child. Even further, without an estate plan in place, your health and finances will be vulnerable in the event you become incapacitated. Our Little Rock, Arkansas estate planning lawyers discuss the essential components of every estate plan below.


A will allows you to name chosen beneficiaries who will receive your assets upon your death. With a will, you can name an executor whom you trust to carry out the directions in your will. Importantly, you can also state your preference for guardian for your minor child. Every estate plan should have a will, as without it you will not have control over what happens after you die.


Trusts accomplish the same goals as a will, but with several advantages. Assets placed within a trust will not need to go through probate, allowing these assets to avoid probate and pass quickly to the named beneficiaries. Trusts further allow you additional control over the assets, enabling you to spread out distribution to your heirs or set conditions for distribution.

Durable Power of Attorney

A durable power of attorney (POA) allows you to name a trusted individual who will manage your finances if you become incapacitated. Without a power of attorney in place, a court will be forced to decide what happens to your assets if you become incapacitated. Your designated individual will be able to conduct real estate transactions, manage assets, and perform other necessary functions to preserve your wealth.

Healthcare Power of Attorney

A healthcare power of attorney functions like a durable power of attorney, but allows the named individual to make healthcare decisions for you if you are incapacitated. When you execute a healthcare power of attorney, you should select someone who will follow your wishes and ascribes to your medical views.  Your named healthcare surrogate could literally hold your life in his or her hands. You can additionally set out your healthcare wishes in writing.

Contact an estate planning lawyer for more assistance with creating your thorough estate plan. Now is the time to plan for the future and secure your ultimate legacy.

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