Life takes unexpected turns and sometimes responding to them can be time-consuming, stressful, and expensive. This is especially true of matters arising from incapacity and relating to end-of-life planning. Many people find the thought of mortality to be saddening. But none of these ideas have to be true if you take that first step to formally and effectively communicate your wishes regarding property distribution, long term care, and medical treatment.
Common questions people ask:
- Do I need a Will if I don’t have a lot of money, own real estate or have children?
- What is a Living Trust? Is it right for me?
- What is an Estate Plan? Will my family be able to download photos from my social media account?
- Is a Living Will or Power of Attorney the right document for me?
- How should I plan for my minor or disabled children or grandchildren?
- Should I list my estate as beneficiary for my retirement accounts?
- Can my partner be an executor and beneficiary under my Will?
- What is an Advance Directive and why is it important?
A Last Will and Testament allows you to decide how you want your property to be managed and provides guidance for the care of minor children after you pass. This allows beneficiaries of your Will to avoid conflict and costly negotiations down the road, as well as insuring that your wishes are known and acted upon.
Financial Powers of Attorney
A power of attorney is a legal document that permits you to designate someone else to act on your behalf, if you become unable to do so. A carefully drafted Power of Attorney will give you peace of mind, assuring you know that critical decisions regarding your financial affairs are always in good hands.
Trusts are a useful legal tools because they permit more flexibility with regards to the distribution of your assets and they allow you to avoid the expense and delays associated with the probate process. Trusts offer more privacy because they are not a matter of public records. Therefore, setting up a Trust can be a wise decision when planning for special circumstances such as minor and special needs family members, second marriages, or asset protection for you, your spouse, or your children.
Advance Health Care Directives
Advance Directives (a.k.a. Medical Powers of Attorney) are an important part of every estate plan. It is how you formally communicate your end-of-life health care wishes, such as whether to use artificial life support. A properly drafted Advance Directive will take the weighty burden of these sensitive decisions off of your loved ones. A well-executed Health Care Power of Attorney is equally vital to insure that your loved ones are able to act as your advocate in health care situations.