The majority of Americans lack the documents necessary for a well-planned estate to ensure that everything you own goes to who you want it to go to and your medical wishes are carried out in the event you’re incapacitated.
There are two types of Power of Attorney (POA)necessary for estate planning – POA for Health Care and for Finances. The appointee should be someone you have the utmost trust in, as they generally have the same powers you would have acting on your own behalf.
POA for Health Care
The POA for Health Care is a legal document that gives someone else the authority to make healthcare decisions for you in the event you are incapacitated, and is supposed to consider what you would want, so be sure to talk with them about it.
POA for Finances
The POA for Finances lets you name the person who will make financial decisions on your behalf – paying your bills, handling insurance claims, even making the decision to sell your home. The ideal candidate for these positions is your spouse and/or a close relative who lives nearby.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that every individual has a right to direct their own medical care, even if loved ones disagree with those directions. A living will is a legal document that makes known a person’s wishes regarding life prolonging medical treatments. It is also known as an advance directive, health care directive, or a physician’s directive. A living will informs health care providers and your family of your desires for medical treatment in the event you are not able to speak for yourself.
No matter the assets, it’s important to consult with a qualified attorney when creating an estate plan.” – Title & Estate Planning Attorney Ricky McDavid
Last Will and Testament
A last will and testament, commonly referred to simply as a “will,” is a legal document outlining how a person’s assets will be distributed after their death, as well as the care of any dependents or pets. The executor of the will may be a family member, friend, or even a professional such as an attorney or accountant, responsible for carrying out the terms of the will. A will may also include instructions for the payment of debts and taxes, as well as any specific funeral or burial wishes. Without a valid will, the distribution of the deceased’s assets will be determined by state law, which may not reflect the wishes of the deceased or the needs of their loved ones.
For some, it may be appropriate to use other estate planning measures, such as trusts. No matter the assets, it’s important to consult with a qualified attorney when creating an estate plan.
David “Ricky” McDavid, Jr. is a native of Zachary with 14 years of experience in Estate Planning. He is a managing attorney at Cypress Title – Zachary and the owner of the McDavid Law Firm. Contact Ricky at 225-490-8780 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. His office is located at 4470 Main Street, Zachary.