Advance Planning Is One Of The Best Gifts To Give Your Family
No one wants to think about their mortality but advance planning for the event of our illness, incapacitation or death is one of the best gifts we can provide to our family. The most common documents utilized in planning for the administration of your estate in these events are Declarations of Desire of a Natural Death/Living Will, Durable Powers of Attorney, Health Care Powers of Attorney and a Last Will and Testament (sometimes including a Testamentary Trust). These are important documents and it is important they are prepared and executed properly. The attorneys at Donna Ambler Davis, PC, have the experience and knowledge to advise you on which documents are appropriate for your specific situation and unique wishes.
Declarations of Desire of a Natural Death/Living Will
A Declaration of Desire of a Natural Death/Living Will, also known as an Advance Directive, is a legal document that instructs how someone’s medical provider or assigned health care agent is to act with regards to their end-of-life wishes. It allows the patient, also known as the principal, to legally choose the healthcare treatment they want to receive in the event they become unable to make the decision for themselves. It allows someone to give a declaration for their desire of a natural death, that is, to authorize healthcare workers to withhold or withdraw life-prolonging measures.
Durable Powers of Attorney
A Durable Power of Attorney (POA) is a written authorization to act on another’s behalf in finance, business, personal, or any legal matter. The person authorizing the other to act is known as principal or grantor, whereas the one authorized to act is the agent or attorney-in-fact. In addition, a durable power of attorney gives a person authority to act even if the other person becomes incapacitated or incompetent and cannot handle their own affairs.
Health Care Powers of Attorney
The Healthcare Power of Attorney, also known as a Healthcare Proxy, is a legal document that allows an individual to appoint another person, often someone close to them, to make medical decisions on their behalf. This “power” only goes into effect in the event the person granting the power is in a condition where they are unable to make or communicate decisions on their own.
Testamentary Trusts and Wills
Last Will and Testament is a legal document that permits someone (known as the testator) to designate how their property (known as the estate) is to be distributed after their death. It can also specify who (known as an executor) will manage property until its final distribution. A Testamentary Trust can be included in a Last Will and Testament to protect a beneficiary’s assets in the event the beneficiary is a minor, is aged or is incompetent to handle his or her own assets.