The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants has published a 73-page overview on estate planning for individuals diagnosed with cancer. While slightly dated, this resource offers a thorough overview of estate planning in the context of cancer. In addition to Wills and trusts, it includes living wills and advances in medical directives. It also has a wealth of information about various estate planning forms. Here’s a quick overview of some of these documents.
The importance of wills and estate planning cannot be underestimated. These documents identify beneficiaries and help ensure the transfer of assets at death. Without such records, conflicts within the family are likely to occur. For instance, siblings can begin to clash after a parent passes away, take more than their fair share, or even become lifelong enemies. A comprehensive estate plan helps preserve family harmony and prevents this from occurring.
Estate planning like estate planning Manassas VA is not just for the wealthy. According to the American Bar Association, even people with modest assets should have a will. A will specifies how assets should be distributed upon death, and all beneficiaries must have a copy. Nevertheless, nearly sixty-four percent of Americans do not have a will despite its importance. In such cases, a judge will make key decisions about the estate.
A trust is a legal document that can help your loved ones with money issues if you become incapacitated. These documents protect your loved ones from unthinkable decisions when you can no longer make them. If you die or become disabled, a trustee will handle the assets in the trust, making distributions according to your wishes. This document can provide peace to the grantor and their family members.
A discretionary trust is one type of trust that can protect the assets of an heir’s ex-spouse from your family. When your spouse dies or reaches a certain age, the child or heir will receive the help. However, the child or heir may put these assets into a joint account with their spouse. This causes the assets to co-mingle and become marital assets. This means that if your child gets divorced, the money could end up in the hands of the ex-spouse. In this case, a discretionary trust will protect a large portion of your assets from your heir’s ex-spouse.
A Living Will is a legal document that lays out your preferences for medical care. It is only effective if you are still able to communicate. A Living Will gives you the power to say no to special medical procedures and choose the natural way out. The HIPAA Act prevents doctors from discussing their medical care with others. Without a living will, your family cannot make decisions regarding your care. Despite this, you should make one if you are capable of communicating.
You should have a living will if you are young and healthy. While young people aren’t typically considered estate planners, having a living will benefit everyone. Even a healthy person can become incapacitated by accident. If you leave a spouse in charge of making health care decisions, your partner will appreciate knowing that your wishes were followed. A living will also protect your family and the people you care for.
Advance Medical Directives
If you have decided to leave a will or create an advance medical directive, you’re helping others prepare for your death. Making medical decisions is essential to consider before you’re incapacitated, but this legal document allows you to state your preferences in advance. It’s important to consider that your wishes may change over time, so you should update your directive as needed. However, if your desires change dramatically, it is essential to make changes in advance.
To update your directives, you should review them every five to 10 years and provide them to your family, doctor, and nursing home. If you’ve lived in the exact location for the past five years, you should review them to make sure that the wishes you’ve expressed are still true. If your medical circumstances change dramatically, such as getting married, you should check your living will regularly. Otherwise, you’ll have to revise your advance directives and will every time you move.
Power of Attorney
A Power of Attorney (POA) is a legal document that gives someone else the authority to manage your affairs in your absence. You can give your agent broad authority or limit it to specific functions. Once the principal dies, the POA expires, and the estate’s executor takes over. In Southern California, RaunMuntz O-Grady LLP provides legal services. It’s essential to consider the consequences of choosing the wrong POA for your situation.
A power of attorney is a complex document, so working with an experienced attorney can be beneficial. It involves two major players: the principal (you) and the agent, who is chosen to make decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated. The agent, also known as an attorney-in-fact, is appointed to carry out your wishes. You can name up to two people as witnesses. Generally, you should consult with your agent to ensure that your wishes are reflected in a power of attorney.