A power of attorney, or POA, is a legal document that has been around in varying forms for centuries. The concept, or purpose, behind a power of attorney is the ability to give another person the legal authority to act on your behalf. The extent and the duration of the authority depends on the type of POA that you execute. Although POAs are widely used by people of all ages, they are particularly popular with the elderly. Unfortunately, they are also widely used by people who want to take … [Read more...] about Basics of Powers of Attorney
You’ve probably heard of the terms “will” and “living will.” However, if you are like most people, it may be confusing to fully understand the differences between these terms. While they are both very different, it is important to implement both into your estate planning. Take a look at what both of these legal documents offer: A will, also known as a last will and testament, is only effective after you die. It has no effect during your lifetime. A living will is only effective during … [Read more...] about What’s the Difference between a Will and Living Will?
You, and every person over the age of 18, need two powers of attorney. A power of attorney names a trusted helper to act on your behalf when you are unable to do so yourself. The Financial Power of Attorney The financial power of attorney authorizes your trusted helper to sign your name and conduct business on your behalf should you become incapacitated. Your trusted helper is called an “agent” or “attorney in fact,” depending on state law. It is wise to name a succession of agents in … [Read more...] about You Need Two Powers of Attorney
If you are working on an incapacity plan, you may wish to consider the use of a revocable living trust. Like its counterpart, the irrevocable living trust, a revocable living trust takes effect during your lifetime. Although a revocable living trust does not offer the same asset protection or estate tax benefits as certain irrevocable trusts, it does allow you the benefit of being able to make changes to the trust. A revocable living trust can also be an extremely attractive incapacity planning … [Read more...] about Living Trusts and Incapacity Planning
Some folks want to avoid estate planning because they associate it with death. However, estate planning is NOT just about death. In fact, good estate planning is focused on life, including retirement planning, college planning, gifting programs, charitable planning, asset ownership, asset protection, disability protection, and tax strategies. An experienced and qualified estate planning attorney can design a comprehensive estate plan that protects you and your family, while you’re alive … [Read more...] about Estate Planning: It’s Not Just all About Death
When you’re healthy, it’s hard to imagine being unhealthy. But it happens; in fact, if you’re in your thirties or forties, you are three times more likely to become incapacitated in any one year than to die. Incapacity refers to the inability to provide informed consent for medical decisions; it also refers to the inability to manage your finances and make day-to-day personal business decisions. Incapacity can be caused by a car accident, work accident, medicine overdose, stroke, head … [Read more...] about Why You Need Incapacity Planning as Well as Estate Planning
As the New Year looms, many folks include among their resolutions creating or updating their estate plans. What is often not appreciated are the number of issues that should be considered and addressed in one's estate plan. It’s important to take time to handle these issues so that you’re protected throughout your lifetime as well as after you die. Many people don’t take the time to fully think about their individual estate planning needs. Take a look at the information below to better … [Read more...] about New Year Resolution: Review Your Estate Plan (part 1 of 2)
We’ve put together a collection of estate planning tips for you and your family. If you’re like most people, there will be at least one thing on this list that you haven’t thought of yet. Others will serve as a gentle reminder to take action. 1. You need to name temporary guardians so that someone is authorized to care for your children in the event you are disabled (temporarily or permanently) and unable to care for them yourself. After all, your will, appointing permanent guardians, … [Read more...] about Handy Estate Planning Tips for You and Your Family
If you’re thinking about getting a will, know that it may not be your best option. A will allows you to have control over future decisions. However, you should know that it’s important to consider other planning techniques, in addition. A will is not the only planning tool that you need. Take a look at the following information, to learn more. If you have any questions, contact an estate planning attorney. You can’t plan for incapacity. Your will is only effective after you die, … [Read more...] about Why A Will Isn’t the Only Document You Need (part 1 of 2)
We get a lot of questions about revocable living trusts and some prospective clients wonder whether they really need a trust. They say, “After all, I’m not a Warren Buffet or a Kennedy. Do I really need a trust?” Whether you need a trust (or not) depends upon your assets and your goals; mainly your goals. You do not need to be wealthy to benefit from a trust. You Need to Consider a Revocable Living Trust if you… Want to avoid probate Want to avoid court interference, through the … [Read more...] about Do I Really Need a Trust?