Have you taken steps to care for your loved ones once you are no longer able to do so? What will happen with your property and belongings when you die? What happens if you are in need of care and unable to care for yourself? How will you be taken care of if you lose the ability to handle your own affairs? Your attorney can help ensure that your affairs are managed and distributed according to your decisions through estate planning.
Estate planning is a process to decide and declare who will benefit and to what extent; how you will care for loved ones when you are unable and how you are to be cared for when you are no longer able to care for yourself. Estate planning can also reduce taxes on the transfer of assets at death, preserving as much as possible for your loved ones.
Before consulting with an attorney, it is helpful to think about who you will entrust as your personal representative, and who you would like to benefit upon your passing. Are there specific gifts you want to give to individuals or charities? Are there minor children to be provided for? And consider the following responsibilities which should be addressed.
The person(s) you name in your will is responsible for administering your estate and ensuring your wishes are followed in providing for loved ones.
The person(s) you name in your Financial Power of Attorney can legally make decisions for you and take actions that you specify within the Power of Attorney.
The person(s) you name in your Healthcare Power of Attorney and Living Will is given directives outlined by you if you are not in a condition to decide for yourself what medical procedures you wish to accept or forbid.
Mental Health Powers of Attorney provide you the ability to give direction to your appointed person(s) regarding mental health options, consent regarding specific medications and experimental treatments when you are unable to consent.
You may select different people to name as your agent for each of these purposes.
It is also helpful when creating an estate plan to list all your assets including real estate, vehicles, bank accounts, securities, annuities, IRA’s, insurance policies, jointly held interests, valuable possessions, and collections or items you want to be distributed to particular individuals for sentimental reasons.
Please click on the “Contact Us” tab to schedule your free personal consultation with one of our attorneys to determine your estate planning needs.