Planning Your Estate - The Basics
It is important to understand that there is no “one size fits all” approach to estate planning. Every situation is unique and a careful review of assets and goals is important, followed by custom drafting of documents that will ensure that your wishes will be followed in the event of your death.
There are four primary documents that we recommend all of our clients have prepared.
1.LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT •A properly drafted and executed will allows you to oAppoint guardians and financial trustees for your minor children; oDistribute your assets as you desire rather following the state’s statute of descent and distribution; oAppoint a person to administer your estate. 2.DURABLE POWER OF ATTORNEY •A durable power of attorney allows you to appoint a trusted individual (your “agent”) to carry out certain financial duties on your behalf. This document must be drafted when you have legal capacity to name that trusted person – although you may choose not to have your agent actually carry out these responsibilities when the document is executed, it is not advisable to wait until you need it, as when you are incapacitated, it is too late. •The durable power of attorney form does not enable the agent to override your decisions. You are still in charge of your affairs. 3.HEALTH CARE POWER OF ATTORNEY •Like the durable attorney, this document allows you to appoint someone that you trust to instruct medical professionals about your wishes and make decisions for you in the event that you are unable to speak for yourself – that person cannot override your wishes. 4.LIVING WILL / ADVANCE DIRECTIVE •A living will should not be confused with the Last Will and Testament. Your living will is the document that instructs your doctors and your health care agent about the measures that should or should not be taken in the event that you have an injury or illness from which you are not likely to recover.
At The Burley Law Office, your estate planning package includes all four of these documents for a single low fee. At the time of your consultation we will also spend time discussing how your estate can be structured to save your heirs time and money. If a Revocable Living Trust or other documents are needed, they will be discussed at that time.
Call us at 440-967-1529 to schedule your Estate Planning meeting today.