Trusts, Wills, Powers of Attorney, Advance Medical Directives, etc.
“Our children all live out of the area. We want things to be as simple as possible for our children when we pass. And how do we make sure our children won’t have to pay any more taxes then necessary?”
“I really don’t have an ‘estate.’ I just want to make sure that my daughter can help me with my banking if I get sick. How do I do this?”
“We’re a blended family. We each want to pass our estate to our respective children when we die. How do with do this without creating conflict in our family?”
Estate planning refers to the actions you take to ensure that you and your loved ones will be financially, medically, and legally protected in case you become disabled or deceased. It may also include specific planning for a child or loved one with a disability or other special needs. Common components of an estate plan are listed below.
- Durable Property Power of Attorney. In this document, you select someone to make legal and financial decisions for you if you are alive, but incapacitated. Many people mistakenly believe that their spouse or children “automatically” have this authority, but that is not true. No one can manage your legal or financial affairs without proper authorization. Every adult needs a Durable Property Power of Attorney.
- Medical Power of Attorney / Advanced Medical Directives. In this document, you select someone to make medical decisions for you if you are alive, but unable to make your own choices. This document also includes instructions for your healthcare, such as treatments you specifically want or do not want to receive.
- Last Will and Testament. In this document, you outline what will happen to your assets when you die. If you have minor children, you can also nominate someone to be their guardian.
- Trusts. A trust can provide for the streamlined management of your assets throughout your life, incapacity, and death. For many people, a trust is not necessary. However, for those with substantial wealth or particular family dynamics, a trust may be appropriate.
Our experience linking Estate Planning to Elder Law and Estate Administration is a feature of our office. While many law firms prepare Wills, our attorneys offer a more comprehensive and holistic approach to planning. We also have experience serving individuals with disabilities and special needs, unmarried couples, blended families, and LGBT families. We welcome inquiries.