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Estate Planning

Key Documents Your Parents Need

1. Durable Power of Attorney. Lets an agent manage their affairs even if they become mentally incapacitated.

2. File of Life A plastic, magnetized pocket in which to store important medical information for display on the refrigerator, where emergency personnel can find it. Free at the local fire department or city hall or for $4 at

3. Release-of-information Form Required by some doctors before they will give anyone access to health records and information. Ask your parents' physician about his or her policy.

4. Advanced Directive One of two documents (living will and durable power of attorney for health care) that specify which treatment they want if they cannot express their wishes.

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