Some clients will decide on the will-based
, traditional estate plan,
opting against the planning, titling and funding necessary to establish a trust
. A Will (formerly referred to as Last Will and Testament)
is a legal document requiring formal execution that disposes of property after death. Using the traditional estate planning
, clients own their assets, individually or jointly depending on their circumstances, and their Will would direct where their assets (without prior beneficiary designation) would go upon their death. You can think of a Will as a type of map instructing how to get from Point A (prior to death when you own the assets), to Point B (after death when your beneficiaries come to own the assets).
Before clients make their decision regarding whether or not the will-based plan
is for them, we discuss the probate
process. Using traditional estate planning, when the client owns assets in their name with no beneficiary designation at the time of their death, the estate would be required to go through the probate
process. This is a legal process requiring petitions to be filed with the Court, notice to be given to creditors, a certain waiting period while creditors can file claims, after which, if proper, those creditor claims would be paid and then the assets would ultimately be distributed pursuant to the wishes set forth in the Will. For some, the traditional estate plan will best fit their needs.
We also provide our traditional estate plan clients with:
Durable Power of Attorney
is a legal document that once properly executed allows someone who you have appointed to act on your behalf when you no longer have the capacity, often created to deal with property or health care decisions;
is an Advance Medical Directive that is effective while the you are alive. A Living Will deals in particular with life-prolonging and end-of-life procedures (the degree of medical intervention and life sustaining support). In a Living Will you express your wishes for when you become incapacitated. Medical care, the degree of medical intervention and life sustaining support are typically expressed in a Living Will;
Health Care Surrogate Designation
is another form of Advance Medical Directive wherein you appoint someone to make health care decisions for you when you become unable to make them for yourself; and
HIPAA Authorizations are medical authorizations necessary because of privacy rules requiring doctors and medical providers to keep your health information confidential. If you become incapacitated, and if you have signed these authorizations, your loved ones or those you have selected will be allowed to obtain copies of your medical records. This could become critical under certain medical circumstances, and the record-obtaining process is made easier with signed medical authorizations.
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