What legal documents you should consider for the financial and medical protection for you and your family? It’s a crucial question and one that we all seem to try to avoid, but a quick check-up isn’t really all that hard. There are five prevalent documents that we should all at least consider:
- a Power of Attorney allows one to designate who will handle his or her financial and legal affairs if he or she were ever to become incapacitated;
- an Appointment of Health Care Representative lets one designate who will make his or her medical decisions, including end-of-life decisions, if he or she were ever to become incapacitated;
- a Living Will sets forth one’s wishes for end-of-life medical decisions if he or she were to be unable to communicate at that time;
- a Last Will & Testament sets forth one’s wishes for the disposition of his or her property when he or she passes away; and
- a Living Trust provides for the management and disposition of one’s assets and affairs both during one’s life and when one passes away.
There might be other documents for those with more complicated circumstances, but discussing these five with your lawyer will usually cover all of your bases and lead to further discussions if any are necessary. Does everyone need all five? Definitely not. But everyone should at least be educated about each of them and review whether or not they are appropriate with their family lawyer. Having the right documents in place when incapacity arises can save time, aggravation and whole lot of money. If you haven’t had your legal “check-up” in some time, come in and talk with us. We’ll discuss what your options are and how much your legal fees will be before you decide whether or not to go forward with anything.