General Life and Estate PlanningIn addition to distributing your possessions the way you wish, there are other documents which can help you put your health care wishes into writing so there is no mistake about what you want in the event that you are no longer able to voice your own wishes. Below is a description about the various planning documents we provide to help your get your affairs in order.
Privacy is another benefit often cited by Revocable Living Trust users. When a person passes on, his or her Will becomes a public document and easily accessible. Anyone may go into the probate court and see what your estate was worth, which heirs received an inheritance and where they live. A Revocable Living Trust may never be seen by anyone other than the trustee(s). According to statistics, Wills are also far more likely to be successfully challenged than Living Trusts.
Our firm strongly believes that in cases when people have a primary goals of avoiding inheritance problems for their heirs, a Revocable Living Trust is the best way to transfer a person’s assets to their heirs, even if distributing to a modest estate. To more fully understand the advantages a living trust provides, please read on.
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Last Will and Testament
A Will is the most common document used for giving away possessions after death. This writing instructs a probate court on distributing your assets after all of your bills are paid. A properly drafted Will details what items and/or the percentage of the estate the heirs are to receive, and how taxes are handled. It can also include: legally-binding instructions on your desired type of funeral service and burial; a list of the people you want to administer your estate; names of those you want to take custody of minor children; and outline any age restrictions on the people receiving bequests.
In addition to handling the distribution of your property, a Will can also save money on estate taxes, keep money in trust for young beneficiaries, and provide guardianship nominations.
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Health Care Power of Attorney
A Health Care Power of Attorney empowers someone else to make health decisions about treatment if you are incapacitated. This document covers instances where you are unconscious and a decision is needed regarding surgery or other treatment. Health Care Power of Attorney documents compliment Living Wills in making sure your health care decisions are made by specific people you choose, so doctors have specific people to turn to for a decision. However, that final decision of withholding or giving life support is made by you in advance through a Living Will.
Far too many times a doctor is stuck waiting for the closest living family members to agree on a decision. The patient may also not want a particular person to be making such decisions, but never took the time to put it in writing. A wife may consider her husband too emotional to make such decisions, so she would prefer her brother make these decisions. Or a husband may trust his wife’s judgment, but would want a friend to make health care decisions if the wife is unavailable and having the decision fall to his mother. A Health Care Power of Attorney can prevent these kinds of issues before they come up.
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