Prepare For Tomorrow
Having an estate plan is bigger than just enabling you to choose how to distribute your home, cars, collectables or other assets. One of the most essential elements of an estate plan is the power of attorney (POA), a document needed to protect you and your assets while you are alive.
In your POA, you can appoint an agent you trust to act on your behalf and conduct your business and/or medical affairs if you are suddenly incapacitated while you are alive. This document gives the responsibility to the person you choose, not an individual the court designates. It also avoids placing an unexpected burden on your family to make decisions on your behalf that they are not ready to make. Your estate plan will also include an advance health care directive to address your choices for medical care and end-of-life treatment if you cannot speak for yourself.
Build A Plan For Your Needs
Part of what has made my practice so successful is my dedication to my clients. I enjoy working with my clients. Instead of handing each client the same estate plan, I take the time to understand their unique needs before developing a plan that focuses on their individual life and health circumstances and future goals. Generally, at the most basic level, your estate plan will contain legal instruments such as:
- Will – You can assign a personal representative to handle the distribution of your assets and management of your final affairs when you die; if you have young children, you can also nominate a guardian to care for your children
- Financial Power of attorney – You can designate a trusted agent to handle your financial affairs on your behalf should you suddenly become incapacitated while alive
- Health Care Power of Attorney – You can designate a trusted agent to ensure your wishes for your medical treatment are followed if you are unable to speak for yourself
- Advance Health Care Directive (Living Will) – You can designate your desire for treatment in end of life situations
If you have recently been married or welcomed a new child to your family, congratulations! Now is a good time to create an estate plan. If your spouse recently died or you have gotten divorced, updating your estate plan as soon as possible is essential to avoid unintended consequences. Your ex-spouse does not deserve to “accidentally” receive your assets.
What About Creating A Trust?
Depending on your goals, real estate holdings and other assets, your estate plan may include a trust. There are many types of trusts we can explore for safeguarding your legacy and providing for the financial needs of your spouse, family members, or even charitable organizations now and in the future.
I can help you determine how best to meet your specific needs through creation of a revocable trust, special needs trust, pet trust and more.
Start Your Planning Here
An estate plan was never meant for just your parents in their golden years. A current estate plan can prevent family disputes, confusion about your wishes or draining the value of your estate to pay for costly medical treatment or legal battles you had no intention of fighting.
Do not leave your loved ones with more questions than answers. If you have not updated your estate plan after a major life event like marriage or childbirth or if you do not have a plan at all, contact me by calling 267-627-8092 or emailing me here.