Having a well thought out estate plan can generate substantial savings for the benefit of spouses and children. Such a plan often begins with having an up-to date will. A well-drawn will provides for an orderly transfer of assets, can establish a trust for the benefit of children or other intended beneficiaries, can provide a guardian for children and establish who would receive court authority to administer one's estate.
A Power of Attorney, Health Care Proxy, and Living Will are extremely important advance directives. A Power of Attorney is used to establish very important legal capabilities in the event a principal can no longer act. Having a power of attorney in case such a situation arises can prevent the need to commence what is commonly an expensive guardianship proceeding.
Although similar to a Power of Attorney, a Health Care Proxy is a document that pertains to health care decisions. This document can be critical when one can no longer make their own medical decisions and helps ensure that the intentions of the ill or injured individual are followed. Similarly, living wills serve to make clear an individual's wishes when certain health circumstances exist.
Before any of these documents are prepared and executed, a thorough discussion with a competent legal advisor is necessary. Our attorneys have been providing this guidance for clients for many, many years and is a very important part of our practice.