Do I need an estate plan? Or maybe you think you don’t. Well, think again!…
We have all heard those stories where we stop and say, wait, but he was a runner and took great care of himself. He was only 52. She was only 55. If there is one thing that we have learned from this pandemic it is that everyone is vulnerable to something and just because we “appear” to be healthy, doesn’t mean we are. Anyone over the age of 18 should have at least the basic documents. It is NEVER too early to start planning for the future.
The Durable Power-of-Attorney is needed when you are either physically or mentally unable to handle your own finances. With the proper Durable Power-of-Attorney, your named agent can step in to pay your bills, with your funds, until you are able to handle this responsibility on your own again, if ever. Spouses do not automatically have the authority to handle financial affairs for their spouse, especially in the case of accessing a traditional IRA or changing ownership of a home.
Health Care Proxy
A Health Care proxy is needed when you are unable to make your own medical decisions. This document names a person to speak to the doctors to express your desires with regard to Medical treatment if you are unable to express those wishes on your own. Parents do not have the automatic right to get private medical information for their child once that child is over the age of 18.
Often times the Health Care Proxy is supplemented with a Living will. This document explains your medical desires to your agent named under your health care proxy. For Example, the Living Will directs the agent under the Health Care proxy to authorize conform care instead of extreme measures if that is your desire under a terminal medical condition.
Another great planning tool is a revocable trust. Assets owned by this trust are often completely available to the creator of the trust (as if they owned it in their name alone). Any assets owned in this trust will avoid the probate. This trust is also extremely helpful if you own multiple properties (especially if they are in multiple states).
The benefits of planning early are that you are prepared for unforeseen circumstances and gives you the flexibility of adjusting as your life changes.
At Russo Law Group, we are well aware of the benefits of an informed consumer, which is why we provide a comprehensive website with an abundance of information, as well as free seminars and webinars to educate the general public. It’s never too early to start planning for the future.
Please join us at one of our many upcoming seminars and webinars. For more information check the calendar of our website.