Powers of Attorney

Estate planning gives peace of mind by making decisions you’ve been avoiding

St George News discusses the peace of mind that comes from having planned your future. The common elements of an estate plan include:

  • Revocable trust – Otherwise known as a “living trust.” While not appropriate for all situations, it keeps the estate private, protects against incapacity and helps to avoid probate. You also get to see how it works while still alive. For people that own a home, Brande said it is really crucial.
  • Pour-over will – A will can nominate guardians, appoint executors, include burial instructions and ensure that everything in the estate will go into a trust at the time of death to be dealt with according to documents.
  • Durable power of attorney – Used in the event of incapacity, this allows an agent to take necessary steps to place assets in a trust that may have been excluded.
  • Health care directive – This grants an agent the authority to act on your behalf and make medical decisions. Without this directive, physicians will consult the spouse or next of kin, and that can make any situation more complicated, Brande said, especially when there are many loved ones who all feel like they know what is best. In end-of-life situations, it will also direct providers when you want life-sustaining care to be withheld.
By |2021-11-05T15:05:46-07:00April 21st, 2020|

Last Will And Testament, Power Of Attorney, And Healthcare Proxy

Above the Law discusses the importance of having a Last Will And Testament, Power Of Attorney, And Healthcare Proxy:

Like an annual physical exam or dental cleaning, we know we must, but we often delay. Fear, anxiety, cost, and time are all factors in delaying that which all adults, regardless of familial structure and net worth, should accomplish. Executing estate planning documents, specifically a last will and testament, power of attorney and healthcare proxy, need not be a tremendous production, especially in the precarious times in which we live. At a minimum, we should all execute three basic documents, thus mitigating any future drama.

By |2021-11-05T13:10:37-07:00April 21st, 2020|

You May Have Signed a Living Will, but Scary Mistakes can Happen at the ER

The Washington Post: Don’t resuscitate this patient; he has a living will,” the nurse told the doctor, Monica Williams-Murphy, handing her a document. Williams-Murphy looked at the sheet bearing the signature of the unconscious 78-year-old man, who had been rushed from a nursing home to the emergency room. “Do everything possible,” it read, with a check approving cardiopulmonary resuscitation. The nurse’s mistake was based on a misguided belief that living wills automatically include “do not resuscitate” (DNR) orders. Working quickly, Williams-Murphy revived the patient, who had a urinary tract infection and recovered after a few days in the hospital. Unfortunately, misunderstandings involving documents meant to guide end-of-life decision-making are “surprisingly common,” said Williams-Murphy, medical director of advance-care planning and end-of-life education for Huntsville Hospital Health System in Alabama.”

By |2018-08-13T11:15:24-07:00August 15th, 2018|

Are Your Kids Heading off to College? Consider Setting Up A Power of Attorney

SmithAmundsen:  “The summer before I went off to college, my dad made me sign a Durable Power of Attorney for Finances.  My dad was a lawyer and I was his third child, so he knew that in order to talk to the university and find out my grades, he needed a Durable Power of Attorney for Finances.  My mom also insisted upon me signing a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care, so that in the event of a medical emergency she and my dad would be able to talk to the doctor and hospitals and make medical decisions for me. I did not realize then that when an individual turns 18, they are an adult and presumed to be capable of making their own financial and health care decisions. Although I was a responsible 18 year old, as a college Freshman I was not prepared to make many financial decisions or even understand what doctors were telling me, so I really appreciated my parent’s help. The powers of attorney came in handy when I spent my junior year abroad.  My parents were able to help me when I had some issues with my scholarship in the United States, and were able to talk to airlines about my flights and to the credit card company about suspicious charges.”

By |2018-07-16T12:38:53-07:00July 18th, 2018|

The Death of a Doctor’s Dog

The New York Times:  “Dr. Barron H. Lerner watched as his family’s pet boxer, Akeela, suffered from an increasingly devastating brain tumor. As the cancer progressed, she often walked in circles and was consistently restless and had trouble sleeping. Dr. Lerner and his family, emotionally taxed watching Akeela suffer, took their veterinarians advice and chose to end her suffering via in-home euthanasia.  As a practicing physician, the ability to choose to end Akeela’s suffering brought up thoughts of his oath not to “administer a poison to anybody when asked to do so nor … suggest such a course.”

By |2018-03-05T13:32:53-08:00March 8th, 2018|

This Time Is Different: You Really Do Need to Update Your Will and Durable Power of Attorney

Davis Wright Tremaine LLPP: “With the advent of higher exemptions with respect to the Federal Gift, Estate, and Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax passed last December (referred to as the 2017 Tax Act), it really is necessary to review your estate tax planning and it would also be a good time to review your durable power of attorney in light of the recent adoption of the Washington Uniform Power of Attorney Act, effective January 1, 2017.”

By |2018-01-31T08:08:19-08:00January 31st, 2018|

I Got A Divorce. What Should I Do With My Estate Plan?

Question:  I was recently divorced, but my estate plan names my former spouse in a few places.  What should I do?

Answer:  Revise your estate plan!  You should always think about updating your estate plan when a major life event happens.  Divorce or legal separation from your spouse is one of these events.  There are probably a number of places in your current estate plan that name your former spouse.  These are the areas that you should consider updating:

  • Incapacity planning.  Who did you name as your agent under your healthcare power of attorney or financial power of attorney?  If you were to become incapacitated, your current estate plan probably says that your spouse should make all of your healthcare decisions and should have the ability to access your finances and make financial decisions.  Since you probably do not want your former spouse to make these decisions for you, consider changing your healthcare agent and financial agent to someone like a trusted friend or family member.
  • Inheritance planning.  Your current estate plan probably states that if something were to happen to you, all of your assets should go to your former spouse.  After a divorce, you probably don’t want your former spouse to inherit everything.  As such, you should change the primary beneficiary of your will or trust.
  • Life insurance.  Your current life insurance policy might name your former spouse as the beneficiary of that policy.  Talk to your life insurance company about updating the beneficiary designations on the policy.  Another life insurance issue could arise if your divorce settlement requires you to maintain life insurance for your children. If so, you should consider creating an irrevocable life insurance trust which will ensure that the life insurance benefits are properly transferred after the divorce, and protect the benefits from future events and estate tax issues.
  • IRA and other accounts.  When you set up your IRA, you had to designate one or more persons to be the beneficiaries of that account should something happen to you.  If you set up the account while you were married, you might have listed your former spouse as the beneficiary.  Contact your IRA company to update the beneficiary designations on your account.  Also, if you set up your bank accounts with a “pay on death” designation, be sure to update these designations as well.
By |2016-12-13T20:33:28-08:00July 9th, 2012|

The Conversation Your Family Must Have Today

The Street:  “Adult children and their parents are normally hesitant to discuss money or financial affairs as these subjects can be awkward. Even though such conversations are difficult it is better to have them while both parties can meaningfully engage in the discussion.

What do I mean by both parties can engage in the discussion? I mean the parents have the cognitive or mental capacity to communicate their wishes to their adult children.

According to a report by the Alzheimer’s Association, 5.2 million — or 1 in 8 Americans — over the age of 65 have Alzheimer’s disease. The same report also cites a study which estimates 13.9% of Americans over age 71 suffer from some form of dementia.

For the aging parent getting your financial house in order is the responsible thing to do for yourself and your children. Likewise, adult children would be wise to engage in this dialogue before capacity becomes an issue. When an aging parent is struck with Alzheimer’s disease or another from dementia it will be a draining and emotional experience for the adult child. Without proper planning it will be even more stressful.”

By |2012-05-30T10:46:18-07:00May 30th, 2012|

Three Must Have Documents Everyone Should Have

There comes a point in every person’s life when it is time to sit back and take stock of what you have accomplished.  This could be a beautiful family, a lovely home or a thriving business.  Whatever the source of your pride, it makes sense to protect it, just like you would any other asset.  You protect your home and your business with insurance, but what about yourself and your family?

Protecting yourself and your family doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive.  But it does need to be done.  Here are the three must have documents everybody should have to protect themselves and their families:

1. Last Will & Testament

You probably know what this document is.  It disposes of your assets after your death.  Without a Will, your state of residence determines how your assets should be divided.  But can you really depend on some ambiguous state laws to protect your family?  Wouldn’t it be better to lay everything out in such a way that ensures your wishes are followed?  This is what a Will does for you.

What many people don’t know about Wills is that a Will is where you name the guardian for your minor children.  Don’t have a Will?  Now the state gets to pick a guardian for your kids.  Do you trust the state to pick the best possible person to raise your children?  I don’t know many people who would.

Your Will also names the Personal Representative of your estate.  This is the person responsible for administering your estate by paying your final taxes, paying any creditors and collecting and distributing your property.  Once again, without a Will, the state will pick your Personal Representative too.

Because your Will handles some of the most important decisions of your life, it is the number one on my must have documents list.  Forcing your heirs to have to look to the state to sort out these important decisions is costly, time consuming, and totally unnecessary.  And, since over half of all Americans don’t have Wills, the process will likely get even worse.  Save your family the burden of having to sort through all of these issues and write your Will.

2. Healthcare Power of Attorney

You’ve probably heard of this document too.  A Healthcare Power of Attorney designates an agent (someone you pick) to make your healthcare decisions should you not be able to do so yourself.  Without a Healthcare Power of Attorney, your friends and family members will have to go to court and get a court order authorizing someone to make your healthcare decisions.  It could end up being your parents who you haven’t spoken to in years, or your sibling who makes terrible decisions.  Healthcare decisions are among some of the most personal decisions anyone can make.  Wouldn’t you want someone you know and trust making those decisions for you?

A Healthcare Power of Attorney should contain language waiving healthcare privacy laws (HIPAA) so that your healthcare agent can get a full understanding of your condition before making any healthcare decisions.  A HIPAA waiver can be contained in your Healthcare Power of Attorney, or it can be a separate, stand alone document.  Without a HIPAA waiver, doctors and hospitals may not disclose your healthcare information.  Again, without a HIPAA waiver, your loved ones will end up back in court, fighting over what they think is right for you.  Wouldn’t you rather make those decisions?

3. A Durable Power of Attorney

In our office, we like to call a Durable Power of Attorney a Financial Power of Attorney.  This document authorizes an agent that you choose to make financial decisions for you if you are incapacitated.  Can you imagine what would happen if you were incapacitated?  Could anyone access your bank account to pay your medical bills?  What about your mortgage and utility payments?  How about buying groceries for your kids?  What about your business?  An agent under a Financial Power of Attorney can do those things for you.  This is why a Financial Power of Attorney is one of my top three most important documents you must have.  Your agent can keep your life running smoothly when you can’t do so yourself.

Creating this document can be critical.  You may only be unconscious temporarily, perhaps because of a post-surgery complication, but what about everything that was happening in your life? Your agent can close that house you were selling, deal with a credit card company, or keep your business operating smoothly.  The time and effort to create a Financial Power of Attorney is minimal, but the potential payoff is enormous.

By |2020-03-23T07:37:44-07:00May 22nd, 2012|

An Estate Plan Is More Than Just A Will

The Journal:  “Far too many people think, “I don’t have an estate. I don’t need to do any estate planning.”

But there are more aspects to estate planning than just signing a will. Medical, current financial and other decisions also play an important role.

The differences between the similar sounding living will and living trust often causes confusion. The first is for medical purposes; the other is financial.

A living will provides authority for certain last medical measures when in a terminal condition and has nothing to do with transferring assets or property after death.”

By |2012-05-08T10:29:37-07:00May 8th, 2012|

Starving a Parent to Get Inheritance?

It’s hard to believe that someone would purposely starve a parent in order to collect the inheritance.  I recently read an Estate of Denial article called Slowly Starving Her Mother to Get the Inheritance. Unfortunately, elder abuse cases are not uncommon throughout the country.  Money is a powerful motivator and unfortunately, some people will stoop to the lowest of levels just to collect.

In the article, a woman was making medical decisions on behalf of her aging mother.   The woman, who had suffered from drug and alcohol problems, had very little income.  Her mother, however, had assets worth over $500,000.  When the woman moved in with her mother to act as the mother’s caretaker, the woman began starving her mother.  As time went on, the mother became very ill and lost a significant amount of weight.  After a call from a concerned neighbor, Adult Protective Services got involved and insisted that the mother be moved to a care facility.  Finding the cheapest facility she could find, the woman dumped her mother at the facility with no clothes, and instructions to not give her mother any food or let her out of bed because she was dying.  She also instructed the care facility workers that no one was to talk to any of the mother’s friends or relatives about her mother.  Unbelievably, the woman was actually trying to slowly kill her mother.

Thankfully, in this case there were people who cared enough to realize what was going on and get the mother some help.   Not surprisingly, mom wasn’t dying after all.

How was this woman able to do these horrible things to her mother?  She was named as her mother’s agent under a Healthcare Power of Attorney.  A Healthcare Power of Attorney permits an agent (in this case, the woman) to make healthcare decisions on behalf of the principal (here the mother) in the event the principal is unable to make his or her own decisions.  In this case, the mother was aging and did not have had the ability to make important decisions herself.  However, becoming unable to make one’s own decisions can happen to anyone, not just an aging parent.  There could be an accident, or, in Terri Schiavo’s case, a health emergency that leaves an otherwise healthy person incapacitated.

This mother’s terrible ordeal brings to light to very important issues that everyone should consider:

  1. It is critical that you create a Healthcare Power of Attorney where YOU decide who will take care of you and make decisions on your behalf should you not be able to do so yourself.  YOU are the best judge of who will take the best care of you, and who will make decisions with your best interest in mind.  If you don’t have an estate plan where you select your own agent to make healthcare decisions on your behalf, the court will pick someone for you.  That’s what happened in Terri Schaivo’s case.  Terri did not have a Healthcare Power of Attorney, so the court named a guardian who could make her healthcare decisions.  The guardian, Terri’s husband, made medical decisions that Terri’s parents did not agree with.  Terri’s parents battled in court for years, claiming that Terri’s husband was making healthcare decisions that Terri would not have wanted.  Unfortunately, since Terri did not have a Healthcare Power of Attorney, Terri had no say as to who would be making her medical decisions.
  2. You must be very careful who you pick to be your healthcare agent.  Like the daughter starving her mother to get at the inheritance, some people may not have your best interest in mind when making critical healthcare decisions.  While many people name a child as their healthcare agent, as seen here, that isn’t always the best idea.  If the child has substance abuse or financial problems, can you really be sure they will look out for YOUR best interest?  If you’re not 100% confident in the person you named as your healthcare agent, consider revising your Healthcare Power of Attorney to name a trusted friend or other relative.  You want to be completely sure that when needed, your healthcare agent will make the best decisions for YOU, since your life may very well be in their hands.
By |2016-12-13T20:33:32-08:00March 7th, 2012|

Power of Attorney Tips

Lowell Sun:  Q: I am an elderly gentleman thinking about granting power of attorney to my son, so he can handle my financial affairs now and after my death. What issues should I consider?

A: Among numerous considerations in granting someone power of attorney (or POA) over your assets, I will discuss some major issues. Please allow me to first correct a common misconception about a POA form and its ability to be used after death. Rights granted under a POA, terminate upon the death of the grantor. However, while you are living, a POA can be a great tool for convenient financial management.

When you give someone the rights of a power of attorney, you authorize the named person to make financial decisions on your behalf. The POA form acts as an authorization letter, allowing a bank or financial institution to deal with your named attorney-in-fact.

Continue reading more power of attorney tips.

By |2016-12-13T20:33:36-08:00January 25th, 2012|

I Made a Will… Now What?

Question:  I made a Will, now what do I do with it?  Where should I keep it and who should I tell about it?

Answer:  You may have the best drafted, most well thought out Last Will and Testament, but it will be useless if no one can find it.  There is no central database for Wills or estate plans.  This means that the only way your loved ones will know about your Will and where to find it is if you tell them!

First, you should put your original Will and other estate planning documents in a safe place, like a safe deposit box.  Tell the appropriate people that you have an estate plan and it can be located in your safe deposit box.  You probably want to tell your spouse, children, parents or whoever would be the person searching for your estate plan should something happen to you.  We also suggest making copies of your Will and other estate planning documents and giving them to person who you have picked to be responsible for administering your estate (your personal representative).  Alternatively, you can scan the documents to your computer and email them to trusted people, or put the documents on a CD and give the CD to trusted people.   This is an important step, not only with your Will, but also if you have healthcare directives or powers of attorney.  If you created a Healthcare Power of Attorney, make sure you give a copy to the person you designated as your healthcare agent.  That way the person knows they have been nominated as your healthcare agent, and know where to find the document giving them authority to make decisions if there is an emergency situation.  The same is true if you created a Financial Power of Attorney.  By making sure your loved ones know your wishes or how to access them now, you can save them the stress and heartache of trying to find them during a difficult situation.

By |2016-12-13T20:33:36-08:00January 12th, 2012|

What is a Power of Attorney?

Question:  I’ve heard the phrase Power of Attorney but I don’t know what it means.  Do I need a Power of Attorney?

Answer:  A Power of Attorney is a legal document in which in a person (called a “principal”) delegates decision making authority to another person (called an “agent”).  Powers of Attorney can be very broad giving the agent the ability to do every act that you could do yourself if you were able, or Powers of Attorney can be limited to cover only specific decisions and events.

When people refer to a Power of Attorney, they are usually talking about either Healthcare Powers of Attorney or Financial Powers of Attorney.  As the name suggests, a Healthcare Power of Attorney allows the named healthcare agent to make medical and healthcare related decisions for the principal if the principal becomes incapacitated and unable to make decisions on their own.  As long as you are able to make healthcare related decisions on your own, your healthcare agent will have no authority to make those decisions for you.   A Healthcare Power of Attorney only becomes effective if you are incapacitated.   A Financial Power of Attorney allows the agent to make financial decisions on behalf of the principal if the principal is unable to make those decisions on their own.  This includes the power to manage financial assets, buy and sell property, pay the principal’s bills and more.  While your Financial Power of Attorney becomes effective if you become incapacitated, it can also become effective immediately if necessary.  This may be a good idea for people who will be leaving on a military deployment or who will have an extended absence from the United States.

Everyone over the age of 18 should have both a Healthcare Power of Attorney and a Financial Power of Attorney.  If something happened rendering you unable to make decisions for yourself, your family could wind up spending thousands of dollars just to have someone appointed by the court to make those decisions for you – without any input from you. Whoever the court appoints may or may not make the decisions that you would have wanted.  By planning today and creating Powers of Attorney, you can be sure that the best possible people are making your healthcare decisions and handling your assets if you are unable to do so yourself.

Powers of Attorney are just one part of a comprehensive estate plan.  Every KEYTLaw estate plan contains both a Healthcare Power of Attorney and Financial Power of Attorney.

Our Two Estate Plans

We do not have a one-size fits all estate plan.  Our two estate plans give you the option to pick the plan that is best for you.  Our estate plans are:

1. the Silver Estate Plan ($997 for a single person or $1,497 for a couple).  To purchase the Silver estate plan complete our Silver Estate Plan questionnaire.  This plan is for people who have important or valuable assets and they want to make sure that the assets are inherited by the person or people they want to inherit rather than the people who will inherit under the law of the decedent’s state of residence at the time of death.  Arizona residents should learn Who Gets My Property If I Die Without A Will Or Trust?

2. the Gold Estate Plan ($2,997 for a single person or $3,497 for a couple).  People who bought a Gold LLC from us get a $500 discount off the price of this estate plan.  To purchase the Gold estate plan complete our Gold Estate Plan questionnaire.  If you buy this estate plan make an appointment for a free phone call or video conference with Richard C. Keyt by using his online scheduling calendar or by calling our estate planning legal assistant Michelle Watkins at 480-664-7413.  During this meeting Ricky will answer your questions and work with you to design your estate plan.

Do You Have Any Estate Planning Questions?

If you have any questions about wills, trusts, estate planning or our two estate plans call or email one of us.

  • Richard C. Keyt (the son) at 480-664-7472 and rck@keytlaw.com or make a phone appointment with him using his online calendar.
  • Richard Keyt (the father) at 480-664-7478 and rk@keytlaw.com or make a appointment with him using his online calendar.

Get Free Access to the Keyt's Estate Planning eBook Called Family Asset Protection

Sign up for free instant access to the Keyt’s ebook about wills, trusts and estate planning called “Family Asset Protection.”  This book gives you more information about these important documents and how they protect your loved ones.

By |2020-02-06T08:16:43-08:00January 12th, 2012|

New Years Resolution: Create A Basic Estate Plan

NJ.com:  Today Your Legal Corner will address “Basic Estate Planning.”

 What will you do with this New Year given? Perhaps you want to lose 10 pounds, make plans for a spring garden, change jobs, travel to Europe or dedicate time to a coveted project. Just think of the possibilities this New Year brings.

 One goal to definitely include is to review or create an estate plan. A basic estate plan consists of completing an inventory of present assets, defining goals, relationships, and realities; and then developing a plan of action.

 Inventory Assets

 Generally, most estate planning begins with an inventory of the assets. If you would like to receive an Inventory Packet, simply request one by email, phone or letter and it will be provided, free of charge.

 The Inventory Packet is a guide used to list assets, state where assets are held, and define preferences and relationships. Once completed, the Inventory Packet will aid in deciding what type of estate plan is needed. The Inventory packet should be kept with the will.

 Goals, Relationships and Realities

 Quite often, the difficult questions have not been answered. While it is difficult to predict the future, estate plans must still be created with goals, relationships and realities in mind. For example, what are your long term goals? Where would you choose to reside as you age? What does retirement look like for you? Will you travel? Will you continue to work? Do you have long-term care insurance?

 Each estate plan should address the possibility of nursing home living. At the very least, have a plan in place as to with whom or where you would reside in the event you are no longer able to live on your own.

 Know the level of services available in the community where you plan to reside to ensure the programs offered will meet your aging needs. For example, not all towns offer senior busing.

Develop an Action Plan

After the packet has been completed, goals, relationships, and realities have been addressed; it is time to develop an action plan.

A basic action plan should contain the completed Inventory Packet as stated above, a Will, a Power of Attorney, and a Living Will. Most importantly, the plan must be firmly grounded in the present day law.

Keep reading here.

By |2012-01-05T11:09:16-08:00January 5th, 2012|

Questions You Should Ask Your Estate Planning Attorney

US News & World Report:  Because you’ve worked hard to create a secure and comfortable lifestyle for your family, you’ll want to ensure that you have a sound financial plan that includes trust and estate planning. With some forethought, you may be able to minimize gift and estate taxes and preserve more of your assets for those you care about.

A qualified financial professional and tax professional can help ensure you are minimizing taxes and maximizing gains for your heirs. You can bring this four-part checklist to your initial meeting to discuss how to make your plan comprehensive and up-to-date.

Part 1: Communicating your wishes

•Do you have a will?

•Are you comfortable with the executor(s) and trustee(s) you have selected?

•Have you executed a living will or healthcare proxy?

•Have you considered a living trust to avoid probate?

•If you have a living trust, have you titled your assets in the name of the trust?

Part 2: Protecting your family

•Does your will name a guardian for your children if both you and your spouse are deceased?

•If you want to limit your spouse’s flexibility regarding the inheritance, have you created a Q-TIP trust?

•Are you sure you have the right amount and type of life insurance for survivor income, loan repayment, capital needs, and all estate settlement expenses?

•Have you considered an irrevocable life insurance trust to exclude the insurance proceeds from being taxed as part of your estate?

•Have you considered creating trusts for family gift giving?

Read the rest of this article here.

By |2017-10-07T11:14:46-07:00December 16th, 2011|

Common Estate Planning Mistakes And How To Avoid Them

Online Athens:  I want to highlight some of the most common estate planning mistakes I think people routinely make (knowing that I can’t possibly cover them all in one column). You will notice that I’m not going to discuss the estate tax beyond saying that very few people are subject to it and that it can be effectively managed by an attorney and financial planner with expertise.

In my experience, No. 1 and No. 3 are the root causes of the other issues.

1. Failure to plan: I am constantly surprised to see how many people do not have basic estate planning documents in place. The statistics consistently say more than 50 percent of Americans do not have a will, so if you happen to have one, the odds are that one of your neighbors does not.

Estate planning is another one of those areas in financial planning that plays to our desire to procrastinate. The only immediate payoff we have to getting the core documents in place is to quiet that inner voice that constantly says, “I need to take care of this.”

With proper planning, many negative consequences such as not passing your assets as you wish, strained family relationships and even a lawsuit can be avoided.

Simply stated, dying without a will is easy, but picking up the pieces afterward is not. On the other hand, getting a basic will in place should not be complicated.

By |2020-03-23T07:40:15-07:00November 15th, 2011|

Bad Money Moves: Not Having An Estate Plan

CBS Boston: We talked about dumb money moves last week and many listeners let me know that there is a whole lot more than the ones we talked about.

Estate planning is not for just for the wealthy. If you have some assets you have accumulated such as your home or retirement accounts or if you have children you have people and things you need to protect.

What estate planning does is allow you to plan. Plan for the day when you are not around to care for the loved ones in your life or plan on how your assets are to be distributed upon your death.  Sounds easy but no one wants to talk about their own mortality or morbidity.

By |2011-10-08T18:27:43-07:00September 29th, 2011|

What You Should Expect When Estate Planning

Nevada Appeal:  Clients often admit that they procrastinated before engaging me, largely because they didn’t know what estate planning entailed. Though the process involves some work, a law office that focuses on estate planning matters can walk you through it so that you develop a comfortable understanding of what you are getting and why.

When developing an estate plan, you’re planning for the management of your finances during life, and for the eventual transfer of all that you own. When considering a trust-based plan, you and your attorney need to look at all of your assets to determine how they fit into the plan. More importantly, you’ll need to look at loved ones and professional contacts to determine who warrants your trust in managing the biggest transaction of your life. Then, you need to talk about your beneficiaries. Whether it’s your kids or your favorite charities, how they should receive your assets is all part of the discussion.

If your estate is more complicated, your attorney may want to work directly with your financial adviser or your accountant, and he or she may become one of your long-term advisers. The good news is that the more issues or complications you have without a plan, the more value you’ll receive from obtaining one.

By |2017-10-07T11:14:45-07:00September 7th, 2011|

Do You Need A Power Of Attorney?

Barrington Patch: Powers of Attorney are important components of most estate plans. Today’s column explains the purpose of two types of Powers of Attorney — the Power of Attorney for Property and the Power of Attorney for Health Care.

Hello Lisa, My wife and I recently met with a lawyer to have our wills done. The lawyer told us we should also have “Powers of Attorney.”  We don’t understand why. Could you please explain why we should have these Powers of Attorney?   Thanks, Joe

Dear Joe,

Thanks for your question. Many people share your confusion about the purpose of a Power of Attorney (POA). First of all, it is important to understand that there are two different types of POA’s that are central to most estate plans.

By |2011-08-24T09:57:14-07:00August 24th, 2011|

Basic Estate Planning Issues To Consider

24-7 Press Release:  Thinking about life going on after your death and how your family will cope is never pleasant. But if you do not focus on your estate plan now, there is the possibility that your loved ones will be left with nothing, and may even have some unwanted bills after you pass away.

Without an estate plan, you leave your family with an uncertain future. As plans can differ from person to person and family to family, it is important to meet with an attorney experienced in estate planning to discuss which documents best suit your needs. If you already have an estate plan in place, make sure you regularly review it with your attorney to ensure that it still meets your goals.

By |2016-12-13T20:33:44-08:00August 15th, 2011|

Everyone Needs A Basic Estate Plan

24-7 Press Release:  Estate planning is not only for the super-rich, or even just moderately wealthy individuals. Wills, medical directives and trusts accomplish many things. Whether you need to set up a guardianship for your children or obtain peace of mind for future health care decisions in the event you are incapacitated, estate planning is now a versatile and straightforward way to manage end-of-life planning.

By |2011-08-08T09:29:54-07:00August 8th, 2011|

Never Too Early To Start Planning

North Jersey.com: Two months ago a close family friend had a heart attack.

Fortunately he came through it and is on the mend. But the experience — including concerns about who would make medical and financial decisions on his behalf, if needed — served as a reminder that he and we need to get our financial houses in order.

Most of us don’t like to think about these “what if” decisions.

But as more of us become eligible to join AARP or care for aging parents, it is critical that we make sure that we are ready.

And that means preparing key documents — including a will, power of attorney, advanced medical directive and a medical proxy — and keeping each up to date.

By |2017-10-07T11:14:44-07:00August 8th, 2011|
Go to Top