A Will is
a writing which sets forth the wishes of a person ("Testator" or "Testatrix") with regard to the distribution
of their assets after their death. A Will is used to ensure that your assets (or "estate") passes to specific family
members (or "heirs") in a manner chosen by you. In your Will you may dispose of all things that are
owned by you at the time of death, including: real property, tangible personal property, investments, and savings. A
Will helps to avoid confusion with the distribution of your estate, and can help to avoid certain problems that may arise
in the event that you die without a Will ("intestate").
A Health Care Power
of Attorney is a document which lets an individual choose
a person (an "Agent") to make decisions about that individual’s medical care, in accordance with their
wishes in the event that the individual is unable to make such decisions.
A Living Will is a document which states what an individual’s
wishes are in regard to receiving medical treatment or a specific desire not to have certain treatment in the event that they
are unable to make those decisions for themselves. A Living Will is also often referred to as an Advanced Health Care Directive.
A Durable Power of
Attorney is a document which allows a person to grant specific powers to another person (an "Agent") that
may include the ability to handle various matters and make decisions on behalf of the principal involving financial,
banking, real estate, tax, or legal matters. This document can be "springing" in that it only becomes effective
when the principal lacks the competency to make important decisions on their own, or it may be drafted to become effective
A Trust is another legal device that may be utilized when planning for
the future. There are numerous different types of Trusts that enable the person who creates the Trust, to accomplish any number
of goals in transferring wealth to family members. A Trust can be revocable or irrevocable, and can have various safeguards
built into them. A Trust may also enable conveying property or assets to those persons who would typically be unable
to receive such gifts for reasons of minority (children under 18) or mental incapacity.
more information about any of the above-mentioned documents, including the requirements to make them, whether they need to
be witnessed or notarized, and what is most appropriate for your individual circumstances, call us today at: 412.303.9566.