Michael A. Friedman, P.C.
Certified Specialist in Estate and Trust Law by the State Bar of Arizona
Trusts Wills Probates Guardianships Conservatorships
 

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ESTATE PLANNING TERMS AND DEFINITIONS

 

WILL (LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT) - a written statement of your plan for the distribution your property after you die. You can appoint a responsible person or institution as your executor or "personal representative" to carry out your plan upon your death.

DURABLE POWER OF ATTORNEY (FINANCIAL) - a written statement allowing you to appoint a person as "agent" to make most decisions for you that you could make if you were acting. "Durable" means it remains effective even if you become incapacitated, but it expires when you die. Your purpose should be considered in determining if broad powers are to be granted to the agent and if the use of the powers is to be limited solely to when you are unable to make or communicate your own decisions.

HEALTH CARE POWER OF ATTORNEY - a written statement allowing you to appoint a person as "agent" to make medical decisions for you at any time when you become unable to communicate your own medical decisions.

LIVING WILL - a written statement of your instructions concerning medical treatment you want (or do not want). It is used when you cannot speak for yourself and you are in an irreversible coma, you are in a persistent vegetative state or you are not expected to return to a fully conscious state.

LIVING TRUST - a written trust that you can create that becomes operative during your lifetime. It can set out your instructions for helping and protecting you and your family while you are alive, including while you are incapacitated, and for providing for the distribution of your property upon your death. You can appoint any responsible person, including yourself, or an institution as your "trustee" to carry out your plan.

GUARDIAN - a person appointed by the court to care for the personal needs of a minor or incapacitated person.

CONSERVATOR - a person or institution appointed by the court to care for the property of a minor or incapacitated person.

 

 

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