Legal-Ease: Five primary goals in Estate Planning

Sometimes, clients visiting my office will say that they know that they need to do “something” regarding estate planning (maybe a new will?) but have no idea what goals they should be pursuing. Set forth in this column are five primary goals that you might consider to be the “ultimate objectives” of your estate planning. […]

Legal-Ease: Estate planning can be an amazing gift to others

Estate planning can be one of the best gifts you leave behind for friends and family. Not only can you decide what gifts you will leave your loved ones through estate planning, but having an estate plan in place usually saves family or friends time and money. 

From a practical standpoint, here are the four estate planning documents that should be prepared before death: Last Will and Testament, a power of attorney for finances, a power of attorney for healthcare, and a living will. 

Generally, the best estate plans are prepared by local attorneys. Documents that are prepared based upon information found online often cause more difficulties for friends and family post-death. 

Legal-Ease: Facing a medical crisis without prior legal preparation

Advance preparation doesn’t always happen as it should, and sometimes a medical crisis can leave you feeling helpless and underprepared. Fortunately, what you are likely to need from an attorney in a medical emergency is often pretty straightforward. 

First, be sure to execute two powers of attorney. This will allow someone to sign documents and make decisions for you. One power of attorney should address financial decisions while the other power of attorney should address healthcare decisions. You can also sign a living will if you’d like, but a good healthcare power of attorney should allow your agent to sign a DNR for you. 

Legal-Ease: Powers of Attorney only powerful if properly used

A power of attorney is an important legal document that many people misunderstand. There are different forms: healthcare and general.

Power of attorneys can be durable, meaning they allow the person named in the document to make decisions for the person who is incapacitated. However, once the principal dies, the agreement is void.