LastWillsmallBecause death is as inevitable as taxes, every individual needs a basic estate plan.  For example, if you do not have a Will, the state, not you, will determine who is to receive your property.  If you die and leave minor children without a surviving parent, you can name a guardian to take care of them.  To further protect your minor children, you may also want to create a trust to hold their inheritance for their benefit until they reach majority.
PowerOfAttorneysmallThere is also the possibility your will become incapacitated.  Choose somebody you trust and under the authority of a Durable Power of Attorney the person you name will handle your financial affairs during a period in which you are incapacitated.
HealthCarePowersmallHealth care is also a concern.  If you are hospitalized and unable to deal with your caregivers, who will speak on your behalf.  Similar to a Durable Power of Attorney, choose somebody you trust and under the authority of a Healthcare Power of Attorney that person will interact with your caregivers on your behalf.
LivingWillsmallQuality of life may be very important to you.  If you become terminally ill or an accident leaves you in a terminal condition with no chance of recovery, there may be only two options:  Be kept alive on machines and the like with no quality of life or turn off the machines to pass peacefully without pain.   By executing a Living Will, you dictate whether or not you want your life to be maintained by artificial means.
LASTWILLPICsMore complex estate planning can often entail the creation of Inter Vivos (lifetime) Trusts.  They are most commonly implemented in larger estates or in second marriages where there are blended families involved.