The Law Offices of Charles D. Hines will prepare Wills, Living Wills and Powers of Attorney. Creating a Will is a good way to ensure your assets are properly distributed to your family or loved ones after you die.
Preparing a Last Will and Testament
A Will is a legal document that details how a person’s assets will be distributed after his death. The testator (the person making the Will), designates individuals or charities (beneficiaries) to receive any property or possessions when he passes away. For instance, the testator might leave everything to his spouse or divide the estate equally among his children or leave specific items to individuals or charities. The main purpose of a Will is to ensure that the testator’s wishes, and not the default laws of the state, will be followed upon the testator’s death. Your loved one should appoint an executor, a personal representative who will carry out his wishes after his death. This person will pay taxes, pay money due to creditors and distribute the assets. If your loved one doesn’t appoint an executor, the state will. Your loved one can change or revoke their Will at any time as long as they are not mentally incapacitated.
Living Wills are now more commonly called Advanced Directives. This document states that you do not want “heroic measures”, that is, life support, to be taken if the doctor’s say your death is imminent. You state that you want to be kept comfortable and given pain medication, but that you should be allowed to pass away. Also, you designate a person to be your Health Care Agent. That is the person who would convey your wishes to your medical providers.
Powers of Attorney
Granting a trusted person “your power of attorney” can be a very useful tool. But first, the person who holds your power of attorney is really called your “attorney-in-fact”. Only the lawyers use that term, but that is that accurate description.
A power of attorney is a grant of authority from one person to another. The person receiving the grant of authority, the attorney-in-fact, can be given the authority to anything the principal can do or they can be given restricted authority. The flexibility of powers of attorney are one of the main appeals. The attorney-in-fact is a fiduciary, which means they must act in the best interest of the principal and can be held to account under the law if they do not so act.