The future is uncertain. Make sure that you are ready. A comprehensive estate plan from Thomason Law will help ensure that your wishes are known not only after you pass away, but also in the event that an accident or illness leaves you temporarily or permanently unable to care for yourself.
It is a common misconception that estate planning is only for the elderly and extremely wealthy. In fact, estate plans are beneficial for people of all ages and income levels, especially families with minor children, people in high-risk professions and those battling an illness.
The estate planning process is one of life's most personal matters. No two client's needs are the same, and therefore, there is no such thing as a one-size fits all solution. Jennifer meets with each client personally and takes the time to understand all their unique wishes and needs. Together, we decide which estate planning documents will work best for you, and create a one-of a kind estate plan that is specifically tailored to you.
An Advance Directive is also known as a Living Will. This document addresses end-of-life decisions and care and allows you to give specific instructions to your physician and loved ones regarding the use of life support, artificial nutrition and hydration, and organ donation. An Advance Directive ensures that your wishes are known and followed. It also prevents your family from having to make difficult decisions on your behalf, and gives them peace of mind knowing they are following your wishes.
A Durable Power of Attorney allows you to appoint a specific person to act on your behalf with regard to financial and medical matters. The person you appoint can begin acting on your behalf immediately or upon your incapacity and inability to act for yourself. You can appoint the same person for both medical and financial decisions, or choose a different person for each. This person has a lot of power to act on your behalf, so it is important that you are able to choose someone that you trust.
The best way to ensure that your loved ones are taken care of after you pass is to make your intentions known through a Will or Trust. A Will is a document that provides for the distribution of your property upon your death. It also appoints the person who you wish to act as your personal representative in the probate process. In addition, if you have minor children, a Will allows you to appoint a guardian to care for them. Wills typically must go through the probate process.
A Trust is a legal entity that provides for the distribution of your assets. The Trust holds all of your property during your lifetime, and remains in existence after your death, thus avoiding the need for Probate. During your lifetime you retain control of the Trust assets and have the power to change the terms of the Trust at any time. Upon your death, the Trust will be managed by the person you choose, and your assets will be distributed in accordance with your wishes.
Estate plans come in all shapes and sizes, from fairly basic to extremely complex. No matter the size, Wills and Trusts are legal documents and should be prepared by a licensed attorney, who is familiar with estate planning, to ensure that they comply with the laws of your state.