Estate Planning and Estate Administration
Last Will and Testament
The Last Will and Testament is the document that outlines an individual’s last wishes, if any, and the distribution of that person’s personal and real property after death. The Last Will and Testament avoids confusion and can help avoid long court battles.
Durable Power of Attorney
A Durable Power of Attorney is a document in which one individual appoints another individual as his/her “attorney-in-fact,” enabling said appointee to make decisions on his/her behalf should something happen to incapacitate that person.
A Durable Power of Attorney can be drafted to include everything from the paying of the monthly bills to investing on the incapacitated person’s behalf. A Durable Power of Attorney can also be as narrow in scope as to limit the “attorney’s” power to that of simply signing the paperwork during the sale of a home.
Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare
A Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare covers a very specific purpose. A Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare names an “agent” who accepts the responsibility of making medical decisions on an individual’s behalf, based on that individual’s specified instructions, when that person becomes unable to make the decisions for him/herself.
The Living Will goes hand-in-hand with the Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare. You should always make sure that, in addition to keeping the original document in a safe place with your other important paperwork, you should make sure that both your physician and the agent you named in your Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare each have a copy and are aware of your wishes should life-saving measures become necessary.