Planning for your family's well-being once you are gone is an important part of life. It can seem awkward to discuss what will happen after your passing, but it is important to express your wishes in an effort to protect your assets and your loved ones. This process can be complicated and requires the knowledge of an experienced, thorough attorney.
At Medvesky Law Office, LLC, we are honored to work with many people from different walks of life who are seeking guidance while planning for and protecting their futures. We are committed to giving our clients clear information so they can make the choices that are best for them. We work efficiently so our clients can focus on what is most important to them.
We help individuals navigate the following elements of estate planning and administration:
Powers of attorney
Whether the value of your assets is modest or great, your will sets out your plan for their distribution. Otherwise your estate will be divided according to the law, which may not be the way you would have chosen.
In your will you appoint an executor, the person who is responsible for following the laws that govern what debts and taxes must be paid. He or she is also responsible to carry out your asset distribution plan. If you have no will the law determines who can apply to the court to be appointed as your estate's administrator. More than one person may ask to be appointed. There may be disagreements, even litigation over who should be in charge. In the end a person could be appointed that you would not have chosen.
If you have minor children you can designate in your will who should take custody of your children as their guardian. You can also chose who should manage any money your minor children might inherit. Without a will, your wishes may not be known or followed and the guardian appointed may be someone you would not have chosen.
The more your immediate family changes through marriage, children, divorce, stepchildren, etc., the more important a will can become. But, your will may not determine how all of your assets will be divided at your death. Please see our article about the effective and simple Estate Planning Guide we have created. It will help you create a plan and chose an executor.
A power of attorney is a legal document you can create to grant another person the power to handle your legal, financial and medical decisions. A power of attorney is important in case you become physically or mentally incapacitated and cannot handle your affairs. If you become seriously, mentally incapacitated and you have not created a power of attorney, someone will have to petition the court to be appointed as your guardian. This is time-consuming and expensive. And the person who is appointed my not be a person you would have chosen.
We have created a Power of Attorney Planning Guide to help guide you to preparing the best power of attorney for your situation.
Sometimes the person who has been appointed as the agent under a power of attorney abuses his or her power and takes advantage of the person who granted them the powers. A general power of attorney must be carefully considered because it gives another person a great deal of authority over all your property and transactions. So you need to appoint a person as your agent who is trustworthy, has common sense, and the time to act on your behalf.
An advance health care directive is a legal document we create for you which specifies who will make health care decisions for you if you are not capable of communicating with your doctors. It also contains your instructions about the types of treatment you may or may not want when you are at the end of your life. If you wish, it can also include your instructions for treatment if you should be diagnosed with advanced dementia, such as Alzheimer's disease, and have a medical emergency.
We have created a very helpful guide to help you make decisions about these difficult issues.