At Hollander & Hollander, P.C., we wholeheartedly agree that a key part of being prepared is planning for what will happen to the people and possessions you value most after you are gone. By executing an estate plan, you not only ensure the well being of those you love, but you also bring yourself peace of mind regarding what will happen when you are no longer here.
PERSONALIZED ESTATE PLANS
Our legal professionals understand that no two clients are the same. We create estate plans that are customized to meet each client’s individual needs. By taking the time to get to know our clients – to understand their goals, and learn about their concerns – we are able to make certain that we obtain the best plan of action for their estate. There are several legal instruments that are most often used in an effective, personalized estate plan, including a Last Will & Testament, Trusts, Durable Power of Attorney and Advanced Health Care Directives.
Last Will & Testament
A Last Will & Testament, or Will, is the document most people think of when they hear the term “estate planning.” A Will is the basic document that serves as the backbone of most estate plans. It allows the testator, which is the person executing the Will, to name someone they trust to serve as executor and administer the estate according to the terms of the Will. A Will also allows the testator to name the person or persons they wish to serve as guardian(s) of any minor children.
Trusts are a fiduciary relationship wherein a third party, or trustee, holds the assets on behalf of the beneficiaries. There are many different types of trusts, and the one you use depends on your specific goals. Some of the ones most commonly seen include:
- Irrevocable Trust
- Revocable Living Trust
- Charitable Trust
- Special Needs Trust
- Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust
DURABLE POWER OF ATTORNEY
A power of attorney (POA) authorizes someone else to handle certain matters on your behalf, such as finances or health care. When a POA is durable, it remains in effect if you become incapacitated, such as due to illness or an accident. Durable POAs help you plan for declines in mental functioning and/or medical emergencies. Having these documents in place helps eliminate confusion and uncertainty when family members can no longer make logical decisions on their own.
Financial Durable Power of Attorney
A financial durable POA both authorizes someone to act in a wide range of legal and/or business matters, such as buying and selling property, managing bank accounts, bills, and investments, and remains in effect even if you are incapacitated.
Health Care Durable Power of Attorney
A health care POA appoints someone else to communicate with doctors and make medical decisions for you and is useful when a medical emergency leaves you unconscious or otherwise unable to make choices about your care.
Advanced Health Care Directive
An Advanced Health Care Directive is an invaluable legal document that notifies health care providers and family members of your wishes regarding your health care treatment in case of incapacity. In addition to allowing you to specify what treatments you would and would not like to receive, an Advanced Health Care Directive enables you to name someone you trust to make any health care decisions not specifically addressed by its terms.
LET US BRING YOU PEACE OF MIND
No matter where you are in life, a new parent or a retired grandparent, it is never too soon to start planning for what will happen after you pass away. Doing so is a gift to yourself and your family, as you can rest assured your wishes will be honored, and your family will not be left wondering what you would have desired. Contact the experienced team at Hollander & Hollander, P.C. today to set up a no-obligation, free initial consultation and get the estate planning process started.