Estate Planning consists of three estate related documents that every client should have prepared and in effect; a Power of Attorney, a Living Will, and a Will. It is important that every person have all three of these documents in effect and properly prepared so that they function together as effective estate planning tools.Please contact my office should you require estate planning services.
A power of attorney is a document that allows you to appoint a person or organization to handle your affairs while you’re unavailable or unable to do so. The person or organization you appoint is referred to as an “Attorney-in-Fact” or “Agent.”
- General Power of Attorney – authorizes your Agent to act on your behalf in a variety of different situations.
- Special Power of Attorney – authorizes your Agent to act on your behalf in specific situations only.
- Health Care Power of Attorney – allows you to appoint someone to make health care decisions for you if you’re incapacitated.
- “Durable” Power of Attorney -The general, special and health care powers of attorney can all be made “durable” by adding certain text to the document. This means that the document will remain in effect or take effect if you become mentally incompetent.
- Revocation of Power of Attorney – allows you to revoke a power of attorney document.
A Living Will is also called an Advance Directive for Health Care, this document gives directions to your healthcare providers when you are not longer able to communicate those decisions yourself. An individual of sound mind and over the age of 18 may execute a declaration governing the initiation, continuation, withholding or withdrawal of life sustaining treatment. The Living Will may include a designation of another person, called a surrogate, to make treatment decisions for the declarant if the declarant later becomes incompetent.
A Living Will must be signed by the declarant in the presence of two witnesses, who also are required to sign. The Living Will does not need to be notarized.
The Living Will includes reference to seven specific types of medical procedures which may be accepted or refused.
- Cardiac resuscitation
- Mechanical respiration
- Tube feeding
- Blood transfusions
- Kidney dialysis
A will is a document containing your instructions and wishes as to how your property and assets are to be distributed after your death. Any person, of any age, should seriously consider a will at the earliest. A will should not only be for people who have reached an age where death is not far away. People die at all ages and a will is needed especially if you have assets and property to be allocated to those you wish to benefit.