“If you really love your family, then put your wishes in writing and make it legal. You will die. Don’t exit leaving a hot mess behind.” This statement came from Rhonda Green, a funeral services manager at a church in Maryland. Green has authored a book, “My Exit Plan: Getting my House in Order”, which recounts her personal experiences dealing with warring family members as a result of a decedent’s failure to execute an estate plan. Green’s book was also the subject of a recent Washington Post article detailing the importance of having estate planning documents executed.

Since today starts National Estate Planning Week, we would like to emphasize not only the value of a Will, but also the need for two additional documents: A Healthcare Power of Attorney and a Statutory Form Power of Attorney. Where a Will plans for one’s death, the Powers of Attorney plan for one’s potential incapacity and/or disability. All three documents are essential tools in planning for your future and being prepared for whatever may come. Plus, when the time comes to use these documents, having them done saves your family members significant time and effort.