Estate planning, something everyone needs and what most people put off until tragedy strikes. Common statements include, “Estate planning is for rich people”, “I don’t have enough money to worry about that”, “I’m not old enough to have a plan at this time”, “my kids know what to do when I die” and “I’ll get it to later”. Do any of these sound like something you said?
The fact is, everyone, no matter what stage of their life, should have a comprehensive plan in place and the people you love should be aware of it. It’s the right thing to do for those you care about. It will direct them and the government on how to distribute your property when you are gone. It also allows you to maintain control over your affairs even though you no longer of this earth. Basic estate planning documents are:
- The Will: Whether simple or complex, it is a written document that directs the estate plan be distributed as directed by the signatory of it. It should name a personal representative, conservators and or guardians if needed. It must be signed, dated and witnessed.
- Financial Powers of Attorney: Whether broad or specific, it can assist in allowing one person to conduct the business affairs of the one who grants the power.
- Healthcare Powers of Attorney: This gives an individual the ability to act on the signor’s behalf for health related matters. Hipaa releases and living wills are regularly partnered with these documents for a comprehensive approach.
- Trusts: The creator of a trust is commonly known as the “grantor”, trustor or settlor. Commonly, the grantor will receive the benefits of the trust during their lifetimes, followed by a distribution upon the death of last grantor to die. There are different types of trusts that may be utilized depending on the situation, revocable, irrevocable or special needs trusts.
Sitting down with a knowledgeable attorney and putting together an estate plan is one of the most important things you will do in your lifetime. Call attorney Mark Aiello to schedule your free ½ hour consultation today.
Elder law includes a wide range of legal topics, including estate planning, long term health care planning, disability issues, Medicaid and Medicare to name just a few. For example, many people assume Medicare will cover long term nursing home stays. That is not the case. If you have long term health care concerns for yourself or a loved one, the time to put a plan into action is now.
Attorney Mark Aiello is a member of ElderCounsel, America’s premier membership organization serving elder law attorneys. If you have any questions about this area of law, contact him today.