Generally speaking, most people put off drafting a Will or Power of Attorney because they believe it is too expensive, too much trouble or too complicated. In certain instances all of these may be true but for most people these documents are relatively simple and do not require much effort on your part. To help you determine if you need a Will or a Power of Attorney you need to know the significance of each document.
The following is a brief description of these necessary estate planning documents:
Wills - A simple will is the most basic estate planning document. It details the distribution of your assets after your death. It can be as detailed as you need it to be, giving all assets to one person or identifying specific things to go to specific people. A number of criteria are needed for a will to be valid. If done incorrectly, your will could be contested and your assets distributed by the state. Wills provide a simple and cost-effective way to determine how your estate will be distributed. For clients with children, wills provide an effective means to determine who will serve as a guardian for the children in the event of the parents death.
Power of Attorney - A power of attorney allows someone to make decisions and manage your affairs if you are incapacitated. A financial power of attorney can be used to manage the financial affairs of an individual or a small business. A medical power of attorney enables someone to make medical decisions for you if you are incapacitated. A power of attorney can be temporary (revocable) or permanent (irrevocable). Financial and medical powers of attorney allow you to appoint those individuals closest to you to ensure that your medical wishes are carried out and your affairs are properly managed should you become incapacitated or disabled.
Living Will/Health Care Directive - If you are unable to communicate your wishes, a living will or healthcare directive communicates to your loved ones and your doctors the medical care you want to receive. For instance, if you would prefer to not be on life support should you become seriously ill, that can be directed toward any medical care provider.
Regardless of the size of your estate or the simple wishes you may have in your future healthcare, it is never too late to begin planning. The Chiozza Law Firm will help to prepare these documents for you in a quick and efficient manner. Simple Wills and Power of Attorneys can be done for a reasonable fee and usually completed within a day. If you would like a free consultation please feel free to contact Brian Chiozza at 901-526-9494 or fill out our online form.