Helping you prepare before its too late
Planning in advance of death or disability can ensure that your assets are managed in the way that you intend. It can also reduce or eliminate the burden on your loved ones of dealing with complex and costly administrative and legal issues during already difficult times.
Never plan alone
Listed below is a brief description of a few of the estate planning documents which everyone should consider. Of course, which documents will be best for you and your family will be determined after a thorough review of your circumstances and preferences.
- Last Will and Testament –
This document determines who will manage your estate at your death and how your assets will be distributed by the probate court. It can also provide for the care of minor children and include charities as beneficiaries. If your estate has to be probated, due to assets owned individually or if your death was caused by an accident or some other malfeasance, your Will governs the management and distribution of your probate estate.
- Durable Power of Attorney –
Just as important as planning for your affairs at your death is planning for the possibility of becoming disabled during your lifetime. Disability can arise from a number of different causes, for example, illness, injury and accident, old age, or the inability to locate or contact you. This document allows you to appoint someone to act on your behalf without the cost and expense of a court proceeding.
- Designation of Patient Advocate –
Patient Advocate Designations (sometimes referred to as “health care proxy” or “living will”) allow you to appoint someone to make medical decisions for you in the event you are not able to do so yourself. Your physician and medical staff are bound by your Patient Advocate’s instructions and by sound medical practice if they reasonably believe that the Patient Advocate Designation has been properly executed. You may also state your wishes concerning the treatment you want or do not want to receive under certain circumstances.
- Revocable Living Trust –
This document allows individuals to avoid the expense and delay of probate as well as ease administration of your assets during your lifetime without the risks involved with other methods of probate avoidance. As this document is relatively complex and requires ongoing management, it is important to discuss this matter thoroughly with your attorney to discuss which type of trust would be best for you and your family.
Contact Phelps Law Office, PLC today at 616-866-0902, or browse our website for more information about probates and estates or elder law.
The information contained in this web site is not legal advice; it is for informative or educational purposes only. Use of this site does not create an attorney/client relationship, even if you provide information to this web site, whether by e-mail or by a form on this site.