When thinking about planning for your estate, the first item that comes to mind is a Will, often called a Last Will and Testament. A Last Will and Testament is a document that states how you would like your property and assets to be distributed upon your death and may also state who you would like to be guardian of your children and their estates. A Will may also establish a trust that benefits your loved ones after your death.
However, a Will is not the only document you should consider when planning for your estate. A Will is effective upon your death. What if, due to illness or injury, you become unable to manage your financial affairs or make health care decisions for yourself? There are documents you can execute to enable someone to step in and make decisions if you cannot. A Health Care Power of Attorney is document that enables you to select someone to make health care decisions for you if you are in a condition that prevents you from making those decisions. You can execute a power of attorney that allows someone to make financial decisions on your behalf and you can select what decisions can be made and when it becomes effective.
Another document that is often considered part of estate planning is a Living Will. A Living Will is a medical directive that informs what options you would choose if you are in a persistent vegetative state with little or no hope of recovery. This document can be a great aid to your loved ones at a difficult time to let them know what decision you would choose if you were able to make the selection yourself.
Unfortunately, many people don’t make these plans before the time comes when they need them. Don’t risk waiting: make sure you and your family have plans no matter what comes down the road.
If you’d like to schedule a case assessment with Melanie Hogg or another Held Law Firm attorney, call (865) 685-4780.