Many people consider Estate Planning only as a solution for the protection and distribution of their legacy in the event of death. One of the most important reasons to work with a qualified and knowledgeable estate-planning lawyer is in the event that a stroke, heart attack, accident, dementia or other medical issue should leave you incapacitated.
Since a will only goes into effect after you die, if you are unable to conduct business because of mental or physical incapacity, a court will become involved and control how your assets are used for your care. This process can be expensive and time consuming. It is also public. Should you die, the process doesn’t replace probate, so your family may have to endure this difficult process again. One answer is to assign a power of attorney. By giving someone you trust power of attorney, they can distribute assets without restrictions.
Another answer is to establish a living trust. This is often preferred since a trustee is held to a very high standard and is accountable for their actions. A trustee can act without court intervention according to detailed instructions outlined by you. Adding a provision for long-term care to your insurance can help to safeguard against medical bills that might deplete your legacy.
Appointing a designated health care agent is also crucial. This person has the legal power to make important health care decisions for you if you can’t make them for yourself. The designated agent can be instructed to act according to your beliefs and wishes in the event of life or death decisions.
At Marc A. Bronstein, A professional Law Corporation, we can guide you through these important decisions now, while you can. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Call us.