Estate Planning Lawyer
YOU’VE EARNED IT! NOW PROTECT IT!
Let’s face it –passing away is a topic that no one looks forward to discussing and as a result it is often put off indefinitely or brushed under the carpet. Trusts, wills, conservatorships, probate & long-term care can be overwhelming for anyone and being prepared will provide you and your loved ones with peace of mind knowing that your wishes are handled seamlessly and efficiently without probate.
Trusts & wills are the vehicles by which you define your final wishes and may be as flexible as you require them to be. However, to ensure these wishes are carried out means you must carefully plan the right trust or will for you. Regardless of the ‘uncomfortable’ act of having this task checked off your list, it will not only have monetary value, but will provide peace for your loved ones that are left behind, as your interests and intentions will be protected and accounted for.
Living Trust Attorney
A living trust is an entity or an agreement that permits and allows you, the grantor, to transfer, preserve and retain control over your assets while you are alive and of full capacity. You will maintain full control over your assets. You can name a successor trustee who will take over upon your death or should you become incapacitated. A living trust also provides powers of attorney for your financial and health directives. Another advantage of a living trust is that unlike a will, it is not public record, so it is not accessible to anyone, but the parties named therein. But perhaps the most important benefit of a living trust is to avoid probate. The last thing anyone wants upon their passing is to have loved ones fighting amongst themselves while the courts decide who gets what. As much we want to believe that “this could never happen in our family”, unfortunately it is all too often the case!
What if you become ill and are unable to speak for yourself? An advanced health care directive is the best way to make sure that your health care wishes are followed. Among other things, a health care directive allows you to appoint another person to be your health care agent. This person will have legal authority to make decisions about your medical care and living arrangements should you become unable to make those decisions yourself. You may have certain wishes, for example, a desire not to receive treatment that only prolongs the dying process if you are seriously ill. Your doctor and your agent must follow your instructions within the limits of generally accepted health care standards. This document also allows you to express your requests about organ and tissue donation.
Living Will Attorney
In certain situations, a will in and of itself may be more than sufficient. However, there may be various shortcomings. A will can require the courts to make a public announcement requesting all known and unknown heirs to come forward. If and when they do, they can contest the will and tie up the estate for years, thus depleting all of your assets from your hard-earned work and incurring fees that would not occur with a living trust. Finally, a will does not include financial and health powers of attorney nor will it include any documents naming primary/secondary guardians for minor children and their inheritance if any.