Ease The Burden On Your Family With
Everyone should address certain basic estate planning needs, for failure to do so leaves your family potentially facing a lot of conflict and expense. We’ve described here a sampling of documents that you should consider in implementing an estate plan:
Durable Health Care Power of Attorney
This document allows you to appoint a trusted family member or friend to direct medical treatment for you, when you cannot communicate those directions to your physicians. Failure to execute this document has the potential of causing delays in treatment, conflicts among family members and unnecessary expense in having a court decide who should make the decision.
General Power of Attorney
This document enables a trusted family member or friend to take over financial matters for you, and as your agent, be treated legally in all respects, as though they are you. As with health care powers of attorney, failure to execute this document has the potential of causing delays in paying bills or selling assets, creating conflicts among family members, causing great expense in having a court involved in deciding who should take over for you and supervising that person’s every action.
This document creates the opportunity of transferring your interest in real estate upon your death without your relinquishing a present interest in the property while you are still alive and avoiding probate to accomplish the transfer. This is a means of preserving certain tax advantages that are extinguished if the transfer occurs in your lifetime. The document is revocable, so if you change your mind, the beneficiary can be changed, or the document simply revoked altogether.
Trusts are agreements that are generally used to manage your property and provide direction of how long the assets will remain in trust and for whose benefit the assets are being preserved and how the income and principal of the trust is to be distributed. Trusts are either living trusts that you execute in your lifetime that can be revocable or irrevocable, or they may be trusts that are created within your will, which are known as testamentary trusts.
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