A will is a document that helps you plan for your death. It allows you to direct who will receive your property and other items.
A well-written will can also help minimize tax liability, protect an estate from litigation, and ensure that your final wishes are carried out. Having a will is important for everyone, but it's especially important if you have children or if you own real estate or valuable personal property such as jewelry.
Durable power of attorney
A durable power of attorney is a legal document that allows you to designate someone else as your agent. This person will be able to act on your behalf if you become unable to make financial decisions for yourself, such as paying bills or managing investments.
A durable power of attorney can be used in conjunction with another type of estate planning tool known as a living will.
A durable power of attorney can also help prevent confusion and stress at a time when emotions are running high, which may make it difficult for family members or friends who are left behind after someone passes away.
If someone dies without having prepared any kind of estate plan in advance (such as through an attorney), then his or her assets will be distributed according to state law instead--which isn't necessarily ideal because some states have stricter rules than others regarding who gets what amount from an estate (and sometimes these laws change).
Health care proxy
A health care proxy is a person who can make decisions for you if you are unable to do so. You can choose a family member or friend, or even a trusted professional like a lawyer or doctor. If you don't have one, the court will appoint someone for you.
It's not just about money, it's about final wishes. You want to make sure that your children are taken care of and that the people you love are taken care of. A will helps ensure that these wishes are carried out exactly as you intended them to be.
You may also want to consider who would like to take care of your pet, who would like to be the executor of your will and whether or not there is someone in particular who should become guardian over any minor children if both parents die before them (this is called being an alternate guardian).
You need to have a will for your financial and personal health. If you don't, the state will decide where your money goes and who can make decisions on your behalf, which could cause problems if they don't know what is best for you.
Having a durable power of attorney allows someone else (who is not named in the document) to handle financial affairs on your behalf if something happens to you, such as being hospitalized or injured by an accident that causes brain damage.
This person would also be able to make medical decisions for you if he or she knows what's best based on their knowledge of your wishes and values regarding health care choices.
The most important thing is having these documents written down so everyone involved knows what should happen when things go wrong--and hopefully never does!
We hope that after reading this article, you are better informed about the importance of having a will. If you have any questions or would like help drafting one for yourself, please contact our office.
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