Frequently Asked Questions Q: Who needs estate planning? Q: Why do I need a will? Q: Why should I have an attorney draft my will? Q: Why should I have a medical durable power of attorney? Q: Why should I have a general durable power of attorney? Q: What is a guardianship? Q: What is a conservatorship? Q: Why should I come see you? Q: Where can I meet with you? Q: Do you have flexible hours? Q: Do you offer client testimonials?
Q: Who needs estate planning? Estate planning is important to provide not only for your family after you’re gone, but also to protect your assets throughout your life. It is also a means to plan for potential emergencies or disabilities that could suddenly arise in the future. Often, a full estate plan includes the drafting of a will, a general durable power of attorney, a medical durable power of attorney, living will and various trusts. Estate planning is especially important if you have children, grandchildren or anyone with special needs who depends on you for support.
Q: Why do I need a will? Wills are important because they provide a written record of your wishes after your death. It allows you to not only decide how your property will be distributed upon your death, but for parents with minor children, it is a means for you to decide who will act as guardian to your children if something happens to you. A will can also help eliminate the risk of family disputes with regard to property after your death. If you do not have a will, state law and the courts determine who will receive your property after you are gone, and will also determine who takes care of your minor children.
Q: Why should I have an attorney draft my will? Attorneys are important in developing an effective estate plan because they can provide very useful advice and strategies to help meet future financial goals. It is important that your estate plan is customized to your individual situation, as it can address unique circumstances that cannot be addressed in a fill-in-the-blank form. Having your estate plan carefully crafted can protect your estate from being depleted in costly litigation, should a dispute arise.
Q: Why should I have a medical durable power of attorney? A medical durable power of attorney is an important tool to make sure someone you trust can make important medical decisions on your behalf should you become incapacitated. This document allows your agent to act and communicate with your doctors and other medical personnel, retrieve medical records, and make medical decisions for you should you become unable to or become incapacitated. This document is extremely useful should a medical emergency occur.
Q: Why should I have a general durable power of attorney? A general durable power of attorney allows you to appoint an agent to manage your property and financial affairs on your behalf. Your agent can only act upon your direction. However, a durable power of attorney allows the agent to continue to act on your behalf if you become incapacitated. This document is useful should an emergency occur that would render you unable to manage your assets.
Q: What is a guardianship? A guardianship is a protective arrangement established by a Court for an individual who is determined to be incapable of making decisions regarding his or her medical care or welfare. A guardian is responsible for protecting an incapacitated individual’s best interests, ensuring that they receive adequate medical care and serves as representative for the ward.
Q: What is a conservatorship? A conservatorship, similar to a guardianship, is a fiduciary position appointed by a court. It is limited, however, to the management of an individual’s assets and financial affairs when they are determined unable to manage their own assets. A conservator has fiduciary responsibility, and their authority may be limited by either the scope of their responsibilities or the amount of time they will serve in this capacity.
Q: Why should I come see you? Our practice is focused on providing comprehensive planning for individuals, couples and families who are interested in protecting their assets and planning for potential disability. In addition, we provide legal counsel and representation with regard to preservation of public benefits.