Estate planning includes the drafting of your Wills and other important documents, such as a Durable Power of Attorney, Living Will, and Healthcare Surrogate.
- Last Will & Testament – Referred to as your “Will,” this document provides for the distribution of property. It also appoints a Personal Representative who will be responsible for overseeing the transfer of your property and satisfying valid debts. Where necessary, it appoints guardians for minor children and/or establishes a Trust for minor children to ensure that they are provided for in the future.
- Living Will (Directed to Physicians) – This document instructs physicians to withhold or administer artificial life-sustaining procedures in the event of a terminal condition. In layman terms, it directs physicians whether to keep you on life support or other treatment regimens solely for the purpose of prolonging your life. Many people wonder why they should have a Living Will, but having one is critical. A Living Will lets everyone know your wishes as to whether you want life sustaining procedures…or not. It takes the decision of whether to keep you on life support out of the hands of your family, who will no doubt struggle with that decision when it is placed on their shoulders. In this sense, it is just as much for you as it is for your loved ones.
- Durable Power of Attorney – This document names an attorney-in-fact to deal with matters affecting your property and finances in the event you are incapacitated. Basically, your attorney-in-fact is given the power to act on your behalf, as if you were present and acting, with respect to your property. Numerous types of transactions are spelled out to eliminate any questions as to the broad scope of this person’s authority. It is important to note that the power granted to your attorney-in-fact ends with your passing.
- Health Care Surrogate – Think of this as a Durable Power of Attorney, but for health decisions. The person you designate as your healthcare surrogate has the power to make medical decisions for you in the event you become incapacitated or are otherwise unable to make medical decisions for yourself.
To discuss your situation with us and learn about your options, contact us via our online form or call 941.979.5226 to schedule a consultation.