3 Essential Parts of an Estate Plan

Let’s face it talking about estate planning is not the most comfortable conversation or process to undertake. Planning for a time you will no longer be there for your loved ones is scary, but what could be even scarier is not having planned for their protection.

A lack of planning could mean having your hard-earned money or assets dissipated in litigation. This would happen at an emotionally overwhelming time for those you love. Having a well-crafted estate plan helps to create order during this inevitable period. An estate plan should include at a minimum: a will, a power of attorney, and a medical directive.

The drafting of these documents must be done with your circumstances in mind in order to fully protect you and benefit your loved ones. So your choices for your finances, family, and everything else are clearly known.

Let’s look at the major elements of an estate plan and why they should be included.


A will is the cornerstone of an estate plan, which generally directs how one wants their assets to be distributed. A will may also designate certain agents to acts on behalf of the deceased person. They would serve as the personal representative of the estate, as a trustee, and/or guardian for minor children.

Medical Directives

This is a very important document that is used while one is living but unable to care for your personal medical needs. It permits an agent to assist medical providers in making decisions in case you are not able to do so.

A Power of Attorney

This document permits another person to assist with financial management
when one is unable to do so. This document is tailored for each person’s circumstances.

Although the above documents usually form the core of an estate plan, a plan is not a “one size fits all” and depending on your situation, there may be other considerations that will inform the advice and the complexity of the plan that is advisable.

With over a decade of experience, Attorney Regine Francois is equipped to help you prepare for your plan.  She is an estate planning and probate attorney located in Prince George’s County, MD,  and serving the surrounding counties.  To schedule an appointment, please call 301-358-0377.