When considering estate planning in North Dakota, there are five documents you should be familiar with:
A last will and testament designates who will receive your property when you die, can simplify the process of probate, and may appoint a personal representative, or executor, of your estate. If you don’t have a will, state law will decide who gets your assets, no matter what your wishes might have been.
Health care directives for medical decisions set out your wishes for medical care and end-of-life decisions should your condition render you unable to express them yourself. These documents will typically make your desires known regarding your medical care and end of life decisions, including artificially provided nourishment, intensive care, artificial respiration, pain medication, organ donation, and resuscitation.
A durable power of attorney allows someone else to conduct your business affairs should you be unable to do so because of illness or mental incapacity. Most people designate their spouse as their durable power of attorney, and name one of their children as alternate.
This document allows you name a person who will be responsible for taking care of you should you become unable to care for yourself. You may also appoint a guardian in your last will and testament. If you do not name a guardian, the court will appoint someone for you.
Effective estate planning involves using a variety of instruments to manage your property and provide for the distribution of your assets to your loved ones through minimal costs and tax consequences. If you need help with estate planning, contact a business lawyer at O’Keeffe O’Brien Lyson Foss online, or call 701-235-8000 or 877-235-8002 (toll-free) today.