Estate Planning

Wills

A will is a document that lists your final wishes for your assets and property. The will is read by the county court and the court makes sure your intentions are carried out. This is called the probate process. The will names an executor for the estate, guardians for your minor children, and heirs for your assets and property. The process of drafting a will should be done with a skilled attorney, so every effort can be made to ensure that everything you worked so hard for is properly passed-on to your loved ones. An experienced attorney will be aware of the legal requirements for drafting the will and will be available for consultations if your will needs to be updated in the future. If you do not draft a will, your property will be distributed according to the intestacy laws of the state.

Durable Power of Attorney

This is a document that names an agent to sign legal documents on your behalf in the event you become incapacitated. The agent has the power to pay bills, manage investments, and even file tax returns. The agent does not need to have a financial background. He or she just needs to be someone you have the utmost respect for and completely trust. This document will make it easier for your loved ones to care for your affairs during your incapacity. They will not have to motion the court for this ability.

Healthcare Power of Attorney

This document names a trusted person to make health care decisions for you when you are no longer able to make them. Your health care proxy is legally required to work with doctors and hospitals to make sure you get the medical care you wish to receive. This document is frequently used in conjunction with an Advanced Healthcare Directive which provides written healthcare instructions to your agent and healthcare providers. These instructions would include what special treatments you may or may not want, desire for certain testing and procedures, and even organ donation. This may be the most important document you sign because it will affect your own quality of life and saves your family from having to guess your intentions or have to make decisions under emotional stress.

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