What do I need to consider for estate planning?

Estate planning usually consists of three prongs:  Wills, Powers of Attorney and Representation Agreements.  These documents are three of the most important things you can do for yourself.

A Will appoints an executor, whose job is to ensure that your estate will be dealt with pursuant to the terms of your Will.  Before you name an executor, you should ask them if they are willing to act in that capacity.  Your executor should be evenhanded and have the ability to deal with potential difficult situations when dealing with beneficiaries and heirs.

A Power of Attorney allows an individual to act in your place in making legal or financial decisions on your behalf.  You must trust your attorney implicitly and they should have the knowledge required to make prudent decisions on your behalf.

A Representation Agreement allows an individual to make health and medical decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated  It would be beneficial if the person you choose is a relative or close friend who understands your wishes and beliefs when making those decisions on your behalf.