A will is a written instrument which controls the disposition of your property at death. Creating a will is a step you can take to help protect your family and your property. You can use a will to name a personal guardian to care for your minor children, name a trusted person to manage property left to minor children, leave your property to people or organizations, and name a personal representative to ensure that the terms of your will are carried out.
A durable power of attorney is a simple, reliable way to arrange for someone to manage your finances if you become incapacitated (unable to make decisions for yourself). It gives another person legal authority to act on your behalf. This document is good to make for yourself, but it can also be an enormous blessing for your family. If you become unable to decide your affairs for yourself and you haven’t prepared a durable power of attorney, a court proceeding is probably inevitable. Your spouse or closest relatives will have to petition a court for authority over at least some of your financial affairs.
A Health Care Proxy allows you to name someone you know and trust to make health care decisions for you. Your agent acts on your behalf only when you are unable to do so, whether you are temporarily or permanently incapacitated. Your doctor must determine that you lack the ability to make your own health care decisions.
A Living Will Declaration allows you to state your wishes with regard to life saving treatments. In the document, you can outline what treatments you would like to have and what treatments you would prefer to forego in the event that a doctor determines that you have no hope of recovery. A Living Will Declaration is a great tool for guiding your Health Care Agent and doctor to making decisions about your care in those situations.
A trust is a legal relationship set up by a donor in which one or more persons hold property for the benefit of one or more others. It provides for asset management before and after death, protects beneficiaries by giving control of trust funds to a trustee, reduces income or estate taxes by transferring to another the benefit and tax liability, assures stand-by protection in the event of illness or disability, and reduces administration and probate costs and delays at death.
Trusts can be revocable or irrevocable, and can serve many different functions, including Medicaid Planning. Our experienced attorneys offer free consultations to determine what the best course of action is for each individual with respect to securing their assets for the future.
If our practice areas do not address your particular needs, we have a network of trusted attorneys that we feel comfortable sending clients to. Please be sure to call our office and speak to one of our attorneys so that we can refer you to the right professional.