What are the main 3 documents in an estate plan?

What are the main 3 documents in an estate plan?

On Behalf of Porter Ramsay LLP | Nov, 14, 2021 | Wills And Estates

When documenting an estate plan, there are three key documents that one should draft. These are a will, a personal directive, and an enduring power of attorney.

British Columbia planners will benefit a great deal from being familiar with all three documents going into the estate planning process.


A will is the most well-known estate planning document, and for good reason. Of all documents, a will is the most important, as it should contain all relevant details of what should happen after one dies. This includes naming beneficiaries for assets and guardians for minor children. A will should also include instructions on who should administer the will, how they will be compensated, what trustees are named and any special gifts for particular loved ones.

Personal Directive

This document clarifies who should make decisions related to health care should the person granting the power become unable to do so. It is important to have this document in place to ensure someone trusted is named to make critical decisions in this circumstance.

Enduring Power of Attorney

This is similar to a personal directive, except that instead of health care decisions, the person named here can make financial decisions. This document can also clarify the extent of the named person’s powers.

Having these documents prepared in a complete and legally sound manner is important for estate planners. Having affairs in order not only can save loved ones from challenges in estate administration, but can help protect someone in the case that they are unable to make decisions for themselves. A British Columbia estate planning attorney can help with the drafting and review of one or all of these documents.

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