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A good estate plan will help make sure your wishes are carried out when you die. It can also help if you become unable to make your own decisions.

Estate plans

An estate plan records what you want done with your assets after your death. It can include documents such as:

  • Your will.
  • A trust (as part of your will).
  • An advance healthcare directive (what you’d like done with your body).

It also covers how you want to be cared for — medically and financially — if you can no longer make your own decisions. This part of your estate plan may be in documents such as:

  • Any powers of attorney.
  • A power of guardianship (giving someone the right to choose where you live and to make decisions about your medical care).
  • An anticipatory direction (stating your wishes about your future medical treatment).

The documents you choose will depend on your situation and what you’re comfortable to trust others with. Get legal advice if you’re not sure.

You must be over 18 and mentally competent when you draw up your estate plan.

Your Will

A will is a legal document stating what you want to happen to your assets when you die. It is part (but not all) of your estate plan.

Your will can cover things like:

  • how you want your assets shared
  • who will look after your children if they’re still young
  • any trusts you want to set up
  • how much money you’d like to give to charities
  • plans for your funeral

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