To all front-line and essential workers: Thank you for all of your hard work. You tirelessly give of yourself to care for the most vulnerable members of our society. In hospitals, therapy rooms, and patients’ homes, you protect them and you help them get the most out of today and gain a better tomorrow. You are heroes in every sense of the word.
But as you do this, are you also preparing for your own care? Together, we can help you craft an estate planning prescription that will protect your future using the best legal tools available.
- A revocable living trust is a great place to start. This an excellent tool and a common way to manage and protect your money and property. Contrary to what some believe, you don’t have to be wealthy to benefit from a trust. You just need two players: a trustee and a beneficiary. During your lifetime, as long as you choose to do so, you can act as the trustee which means you control all the money and property in your trust. As you manage this money and property, you now do so as the trustee and not as the individual owner. You are also the beneficiary which means that even though you have transferred your money and property into the trust, you are still the one receiving the benefits of that money. If you die or become incapacitated, the person you name as your successor trustee will step in and manage the trust contents according to the instructions you have provided in the written trust agreement. If you are still alive when the successor takes over, it will be the successor trustee’s responsibility to manage and use the money in the trust for your benefit. Upon your passing, the successor trustee is required to distribute the contents of the trust according to the instructions in the trust instrument. This transition of trusteeship between you and your successor trustee happens without court involvement, which makes it quick and private (as opposed to probate which is typically slow and public).
- A financial power of attorney allows the trusted agent you choose to handle your financial matters on your behalf. The agent can sign checks, open a bank account, or even file your taxes, depending upon the authority you grant that person in the power of attorney. This can be a helpful tool if you are incapacitated or otherwise can’t engage in the necessary transaction. The beauty of this document is that you can customize it so that you will have the help you need, when you need it, based on your individual situation.
- A medical power of attorney allows you to name someone who can communicate your medical wishes if you become unable to do so. You should choose someone you trust, and you should convey your wishes clearly. This can be accomplished through the use of a living will or advanced directive.
Additionally, you can execute a HIPAA authorization in the event you would like other trusted individuals to have access to your medical information, but do not want them to have the ability to make decisions for you. In a stressful situation, the dissemination of reliable information straight from the healthcare provider can help you and others calmly process what’s happening.
We understand that you are busy and your time is valuable, so we can easily meet by telephone or video conference. We are also able to use remote procedures for the signing and execution of your documents, so you won’t need to come into our office at all. Contact us so we can get started caring for you right away.
You can schedule a call with us or reach us directly at 855.528.9637 to learn more about how best to plan today to protect those most important to you.