Estate Administration Estate Planning

Estate Planning Basics

 An estate plan is essential for every adult, regardless of age or health status. Having a proper estate plan ensures that the needs of you and your family are met now and in the future. Here are examples of common estate planning documents:


A Will is a legal document that says how to distribute your assets upon your death. The exceptions for such distribution are assets that transfer by contract (such as “pay-on-death” bank accounts and property held in joint tenancy with a right of survivorship).

There are also other functions a Will can perform. For example, you can nominate a Personal Representative. The Personal Representative carries out the administration of your estate after your death.

You can also designate a Guardian for your children. It is very important to decide who will be the primary custodian and caregiver for your children if both parents die or are unable to otherwise care for their children.

Advance Directives

In addition to a Will, documents referred to as “advance directives” are important for every person because they deal with difficult issues involving life, death, and incapacity. Advance directives include:

  1. General Durable Power of Attorney. This document allows you to name a person to make financial decisions for you in the event of incapacity.
  2. Health Care Power of Attorney. This document provides for the appointment of a person to make medical decisions for you in the event that you are incapacitated and unable to make decisions for yourself.
  3. Living Will Declaration. This document allows you to state your preferences regarding end of life decision in the event of an incurable illness or persistent vegetative state.

Having a proper estate plan in place can give you peace of mind knowing your loved ones are provided for and protected.

The Law Office of Shannon G. Starr, LLC handles estate planning and administration. To learn more, or set up a consultation, contact Shannon at 574-299-6837 or

Disclaimer – The content of this article is intended to be general and informational in nature. It is advertising material and is not intended to be, nor is it, legal advice to or for any particular person, case or circumstance. Every situation is different and you should consult an attorney if you have any questions about your situation