Everyone can get sick and need help, everyone eventually dies. All adults, 18 years and older, should have these three essential estate planning documents. Certainly the content in these three documents can vary widely from person-to-person. Nevertheless, these materials help avoid expensive court proceedings and ensure your wishes are respected.
Guardianship: You could fall ill or have an accident leaving you incapacitated for a week, month or years. Petitioning the court for a Guardian becomes necessary if you have not executed a Power of Attorney giving an Agent authority to act for you financially, or a Health Care Power of Attorney giving an Agent authority to make medical decisions.
Intestacy, Having No will at Death: If you have no plan, then your assets pass under the State’s plan. Also, without a Will, there are no protective trusts. Further, your spouse or your children may receive more or less than you intend, leaving your wishes disregarded. The Intestacy Rules do not take your wishes into consideration. A Will allows you to craft a plan that reflects your real desires.
#1 The Will: Without a Will, the state decides where your assets pass at death. The State provides no protective trusts and disregards your wishes. Ensure respect for your wishes with a properly drafted Will. A well drafted Will also provides for your child’s care. Here are some examples of typical Will provisions.
#2 The Financial Power of Attorney:. If you are incapacitated, the Durable General Power of Attorney appoints the person or persons who manage your assets. Without this document, your family is forced to file for Guardianship. The court is free to select the Guardian, who might not be a family member.
#3 The Medical Power of Attorney and Living Will: In a Medical Proxy and a Living Will you choose the person who will make your medical decisions if you are ever unable to act yourself. This person has the right to select your doctor and your treatment. Further, this surrogate has the right to refuse medical care. You should pick this person who will carry out your wishes. You must also communicate clearly your wishes to your surrogate.
If you have any questions about these 3 essential estate planning documents or any other estate planning topics, feel free to contact us to schedule a free consultation. For more than two decades Klenk Law has focused only on Estate Law. We’ve seen it all, and this experience allows us to explain complex estate planning techniques clearly and concisely. We make it easy for you to understand the essential estate planning documents so you can make the best decisions for yourself and your family.