What makes up an effective estate plan?
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During our consultation, we will also review other aspects of your financial plan such as life insurance plans, designation of beneficiaries on your retirement accounts and the ownership status of your assets.
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A formal, legal document which accomplishes the following:
- Devise your personal property to people or organizations
- Name a guardian for minor children
- Name a trustee to manage the inheritance of minor children
- Name an executor to ensure that the terms of your will are fulfilled
- List any specific burial requests that you might have.
An arrangement wherein a person or institution holds legal title to property in his name for the benefit of another person.
The most common type of trust is one set up for a minor child in his/her parents’ wills. The parents will have named a trustee in their will. This trustee will manage the minor child’s inheritance until the terms of the specific trust are fulfilled. The trustee owes a duty of care to the minor child to manage the inheritance for the benefit of that child. The trustee can also make distributions of the estate to the beneficiary. It is important to remember that the trust can be drafted in a variety of ways to best fit the needs of the specific family.
POWERS OF ATTORNEY
Durable Power of Attorney:
A document which gives an agent the legal authority to make financial decisions for the principal.
This is a very useful and powerful document as it allows your agent or “attorney-in-fact” to make financial decisions for you. This power can be effective immediately or upon incapacity of the principal. If the principal is incapacitated, then this document will allow the agent to conduct the business dealings of the principal without court intervention. Avoiding the Court saves both time and money. If the document is immediately effective, then can also be used as a convenient way to pay bills if the principal is simply unreachable. It is imperative to choose a trusted person as your agent since the role carries so much power.
Healthcare Power of Attorney:
A document which gives an agent the legal right to make health care decisions for the principal. This can be used in conjunction with a “living will”. Medical care and types of medical intervention are commonly specified through these document.
This document allows you to empower an agent to make health care decisions for you if you become incapacitated. This documents is an opportunity to bring clarity and calm to a inherently stressful situation. Before executing this document it is advisable, but not necessary, to communicate your specific wishes to your health care agent.
A document which can be used in conjunction with a Health Care Power of Attorney but is more limited in scope. Instead of designating an agent, this document speaks directly to your doctor detailing which specific life-prolonging measures of which you wish to avail yourself.
This is an authorization for disclosure of protected health information to the person named on the document. This is often drafted in conjunction with the Health Care Power of Attorney.
During our consultation, the Law Office of Sonya Linton will also review other aspects of your financial plan such as life insurance plans, designation of beneficiaries on your retirement accounts and the ownership status of your assets.