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Estate Planning Glossary

Estate Planning Glossary

Intestate - When a person dies "Intestate" the person dies without a will and his belongings and assets are distributed according to state statute.

Probate - Probate is the court process through which an executor is appointed and assets are distributed in accord with either a person's will or in accord with state statutes if they died Intestate.

Living Trust - A Living Trust, a.k.a. Revocable Trust, is a trust established by one or more persons generally to avoid the need for probate court. This trust may be revoked by the Grantor at any time prior to death. Under a Living Trust, at the time of the Grantor's death a successor trustee will distribute the Grantor's belongings or assets that have been placed in the trust, instead of a court appointed executor doing so under court supervision. However, if any assets of the Grantor were not placed in the name of the trust, then they will be subject to probate as if there were no Living Trust with respect to those assets.

Advance Health Care Directive - An Advance Health Care Directive is a document that usually includes a Power of Attorney for healthcare and also instructions on the types and degrees of health care that the signatory wishes to have when no longer able to decide for him or herself. The Advance Health Care Directive may include other instructions such as primary physician information, nomination of a conservator and other wishes of the signatory as to lifestyle when the signatory is no longer able to make such choices themselves.

Power Of Attorney For Health Care - This is an authorization by one person for another person to make healthcare decisions on behalf of the signatory when the signatory is no longer able to do so. Power of Attorney for Health Care is usually included as part of an Advance Health Care Directive.