Kentucky – Indiana Estate Planning Lawyers Address Your Goals
When you get sick, who will make decisions for you? When you pass away, who will inherit your assets and possessions? These questions and many others are addressed in an estate plan that is geared to your situation and goals. You don’t need to be wealthy to have an estate plan. You just want to be reassured that all will be taken care of according to your wishes.
Establishing an estate plan is one of the most important steps you can take to protect yourself and your children in the event of your incapacity or death. An estate plan puts you in charge of your finances, now, into the future, and beyond your death.
A Financial Power of Attorney is an Important Element of Your Estate Plan
Many believe that one’s spouse or children who are adults can automatically take over for them if they become incapacitated. But this is not the case. For someone to manage your finances, a court must be involved to declare you legally incompetent without the proper documents in place.
If you want someone to be able to take over for you, it’s essential that you work with an estate planning lawyer to designate the person you want to be in charge of your finances. This person must be given the legal authority to manage your accounts and act on your behalf.
Some believe that if they name a caregiver or children as a signatory to a bank account, this gives the legal right to manage someone’s financial affairs. This is untrue. Others mistakenly believe that a simple will can protect you when you become incapacitated. However, a will does not take effect until you die. Only a living trust or a Financial Power of Attorney can be used to designate someone to handle your financial affairs.
A Medical Power of Attorney is Another Important Element of Your Estate Plan
It’s important to establish a plan for your medical care. . A comprehensive power of attorney for health care names the person you appoint to make decisions on your behalf about medical treatment options should you lose the ability to decide for yourself. A living will could also be used to inform others of your preferences for medical treatments regarding life support.
Inheritance for Children and Guardianship
An estate plan spells out the guardianship you prefer for your minor children if you were to pass away. What if both parents pass away at the same time or within a short time of each other? An estate plan would address these situations according to your wishes.
Another issue to consider is whether you’d like a beneficiary to receive the inheritance directly upon your death. You can arrange to have an inheritance placed in trust and distributed subject to conditions and circumstances that you decide. For example, you can protect children from the loss of their inheritance through their own divorce, bankruptcy or bad debt collection.
Reach Out to Us to Learn More About Estate Plans
We draft high quality legal documents that are customized to your unique situation and goals. We help clients avoid estate planning mistakes. Our estate planning documents work in the real world. And, we guide and support you in the practical matters that make your estate plan work. We accomplish this in harmony with the goals of our clients. If you have further questions, wish to get started on an estate plan, or want to update an existing estate plan, call our office today.