LAST WILL & TESTAMENTThis document is typically called a “Will” and it determines how your possessions are distributed upon your death. If you desire to control the distribution of your possessions upon your death, then you need a Will. Otherwise, the state will determine their distribution.
The preparation of a Will should not be a scary or “overwhelming task”. The Will does require certain formalities be followed in order to be valid. Accordingly, I always recommend that the preparation and execution of your “Will” be done by a lawyer.
LIVING WILLThis document is sometimes called an Advance Directive. This document is your directive to healthcare providers in the event that you are unable to communicate your desires due to a catastrophic illness or injury from which there is no medical likelihood of recovery. This document is designed to be simple to execute, but there are certain formalities that must be followed in order for it to be valid.
In my office, the Living Will is prepared as part of the Last Will & Testament package. All at a flat fee.
DURABLE POWER OF ATTORNEY FOR HEALTH CAREThis document is designed to be used in conjunction with a “Living Will”. It appoints a person as your “agent” to carry out your desires as expressed in the Living Will. The most recent suggested format combines these two (2) documents into one.
DURABLE POWERS OF ATTORNEYThese are documents that appoint a person as your agent to perform certain acts in your behalf in the event you are unable. It can be very limited or very broad. For instance, it can be limited to only certain activities such as healthcare or finances (such as signing checks). It may convey broad authority to the holder of the power such as the power to manage the assets and affairs of the grantor.
In some instances, the Durable Power takes effect upon its execution and remains in effect even after the grantor becomes incompetent to make legal decisions.
This is a document that has significant ramifications and should not be executed lightly. Indeed, all of these documents are designed to manage the person’s affairs and should be considered before executing them.