If you are getting older or are facing an illness, it may be in your best interest to establish an estate plan so that you can prepare for any scenario. Read on and reach out to our firm today to learn more about what you can do. Our skilled Butler County estate planning & probate attorneys are on your side.
What steps should I take to establish my estate plan if I am ill or elderly?
Make Your Will
In the event that you have children under 18, it is important that a personal guardian is appointed in your will. If both you and the other parent were unavailable, the local court would follow your wishes and appoint this individual (unless there is a good reason not to) as guardian, to raise the children. Our firm recognizes that it is one of the hardest choices to make as a parent for many reasons.
Also, your will states who receives what after you pass away. It is possible to make it simple, like: “everything to my children, to share equally,” or leave specific items to specific beneficiaries. You don’t have to leave anything to family members if you don’t want to, but if you’re married, know that a disinherited spouse could likely declare some of your assets.
Create Durable Powers of Attorney and a Living Will
Although it’s not enjoyable, it is important that you take a second to think about the possibility that at some time, you might become incapacitated and unable to handle day-to-day financial matters or make healthcare decisions. If you fail to prepare for this possibility, a judge might have to appoint someone to do these things for you. No one wants a court’s intervention in such personal matters, but someone must have the legal authority to act on your behalf.
To avoid an invasive court proceeding, you will want to give someone you trust the legal authority to act for you. You do this by constructing documents called durable powers of attorney, one for financial matters and one for healthcare. The person you select is called your agent or attorney-in-fact. If you would like to, you can even state that the documents won’t have any effect unless and until you become incapacitated.
The documents you need are:
- medical directive (living will)
- a durable power of attorney for health care
- a durable power of attorney for finances
If you have any questions or concerns about this, reach out to our skilled estate planning attorneys today.
CONTACT OUR EXPERIENCED PENNSYLVANIA FIRM
Whether you are dealing with matters involving estate planning, estate administration, or elder law, you need a legal team you can feel confident will represent your best interests, every step of the way. We are that legal team. Contact Heritage Elder Law & Estate Planning today so we can get started.