What is Estate Planning?
Estate planning is not only for the rich or the elite. If you have assets and own property, you have an estate and therefore you need to have a plan! Your estate is what you leave after you pass away. You want to control how it is done, who gets your property, and when. People who do estate planning want to make sure that their assets are passed on to their loved ones without problems, without high legal fees, and without time delays. Sometimes, people do estate planning to make sure that a particular person, such as a spouse or a child, is protected. Often, someone does planning to make sure that they have enough assets to live on for the rest of their life. An estate planning attorney, at a firm like ours, is your best resource to make this all happen.
What Planning Documents Should be a Part of my Estate Plan?
At a minimum, everyone over the age of 18 should have what we call “the four must have legal documents” in place. These include, a durable power-of-attorney, healthcare proxy, living will and last will and testament.
What is a Durable Power-of-Attorney?
This document allows you to appoint an agent to handle your financial affairs if you are unable to handle those affairs yourself (either physically or mentally).
What does a Health Care Proxy allow you to do?
A Health Care Proxy allows you to appoint someone, over the age of 18 that you trust to make health care decisions for you, should you lose the ability to make them yourself.
What is a Living Will?
A Living Will is a legal document that allows a person to express their wishes in terms of end-of-life medical treatment. For example, whether or not you want to remain on life support.
What is a Last Will and Testament?
A Last Will and Testament is a legal document that allows a person to express their wishes in terms of who is to receive their property/assets when they pass away.