Although we don’t like to face our own mortality, estate planning can help simplify things for your loved ones. Not only that, but it can ensure your wishes are carried out exactly how you’d like them to be.
We’ll make sure your valuable property such as cars, home, investments, and more is put in the right hands. This avoids family disputes and other legal battles from occurring down the road.
An estate plan is comprised of many documents. It not only includes a last will and testament, but may also include a trust, a power of attorney, preneed guardian, healthcare surrogate, and living will. You can also have documents drafted to protect your children, such as a declaration naming preneed guardian for minor children.
All of these documents contain different things and cover different scenarios. A last will and testament will distribute your estate upon your passing. We call this process probate, which is a court process. However sometimes a carefully drafted estate plan may not require anything to be probated through the courts.
A power of attorney is one of the most powerful documents in existence. It delegates someone to act on your behalf (i.e. an attorney in fact) and make decisions for you. These decisions range from banking to medical to educational. This document terminates either upon revocation or upon death of the party.
A healthcare surrogate designates an individual to make medical decisions on your behalf when you are unable to do so. This individual also has the authority to obtain your medical records.
Next, a living will designates a person, usually a spouse or close family member, to terminate life supporting procedures in the event a doctor determines that you will not regain the ability to live without medical assistance.
Lastly, a pre-need guardian designates a person to be appointed by the court in the event a guardianship needs to be established for you. This document can also declare a guardian for any children you may have.
We, at Integrity Law, are always available to consult with you regarding these estate planning documents as well as the ramifications for not having an estate plan. Call us today for a free consultation. (904) 224-2100. We look forward to serving you.