Posted on: 27 January 2015
Creating a will and estate planning are vital to ensuring that your assets are properly divided in the event that you die or you are incapacitated. But because there are complexities involved in establishing these long-term protections, here are some of the ways in which a will and estate lawyer can help you.
Establishing Power of Attorney -- Will and estate lawyers are skilled at setting up a power of attorney, which gives a loved one or someone else you know the power to act legally on your behalf as it relates to finances and legal issues. A power of attorney confers the right for a designated person to make decisions about important financial matters, such as signing checks and making decisions related to any businesses you might own. Essentially, by establishing a power of attorney, a will and estate lawyer is giving the person who has this power the right to stand in for you on making these important decisions.
Making a Living Trust -- A living trust is like a will, but the difference is that a living trust can be activated while you're still alive, whereas the stipulations of a will are enacted only after your death. A living trust gives you the power to control the gradual disbursement of your assets while you are still alive, but you also get to name a trustee who will complete the disbursement process after your death. Like a will, a living trust prevents your assets from being frozen in probate, which is a legal process for estates that don't have wills, in which a judge decides how to divide your assets and property.
Executing An Advanced Directive -- When it comes to medical decisions, one of the most valuable legal documents that a will and estate lawyer can create is an advanced directive. This gives someone in your family, or another person you designate, the legal right to make decisions related to your medical care if you are too mentally incapacitated to make those decisions yourself. Conflicts over your medical care can tear your family apart unless you explicitly give one person the power and instructions as to what you want done when you become ill. One of the biggest decisions involving medical care is whether to keep you on a life saving machine or to revive you if your heart fails or to let you die.
For more information, contact a firm such as Peter Fisher Lawyers.Share