No two estate plans are the same since each person's individual and family requirements differ.
That said, here are some basic components of an estate plan:
1. A Will that defines how you lay out your assets.
2. An element that describes guardianships, if and where applicable. For example, if you have children, you must appoint a guardian for any incapacitated adults who are in your care whilst you're still living.
3. A Trust component allowing you to manage your assets while you are still alive. This gets around the probate process.
4. A Power of Attorney component. A Power of Attorney is somebody you trust who will take care of your legal, financial and health responsibilities should you ever become mentally incapacitated.
5. A nominated health care individual should you ever become incapacitated and you need somebody to make certain medical decisions on your behalf.
6. A directive that includes instructions on what should be done in the event that you are close to death or are suffering from a terminal illness.
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