Wills, Trusts & Estates
Diana Telfer can assist you in creating an estate plan that will serve you now and through the later years of your life.
Will: Every adult needs a Will. If you do not have a Will then, as one lawyer puts it, “the state will write it for you.” What that lawyer means is that if you die without a Will that meets the requirements of your state, then your property will be divided according to what is in your state statutes, and that may or may not be what you would have wanted. In addition to you not having the decision in how your estate is divided, it is generally more complex and costs more in legal fees when you do not have your wishes set out clearly in a Will.
Power of Attorney: A Power of Attorney enables you to appoint a person or persons to manage your finances in the event you are unable to handle it yourself or if you are temporarily or permanently incapacitated. For example, if you become incapacitated and need someone to pay your bills or sell your home, a Power of Attorney can be drafted to specifically or generally enable your appointed representative to manage that for you.
Health Care/Medical Power of Attorney: A Health Care/Medical Power of Attorney allows you to appoint a representative to make medical or health care decisions for you in the event you are unable to make them for yourself. For example, if you were in an automobile accident or suffered a stroke and medical decisions needed to be made, you would have a person that you trust and that you have appointed in a document to make those decisions on your behalf.
Advanced Directive: Everyone should, as much as possible, have the death they would choose. Of course, many people are not able to make that decision, but if circumstances are such that you can have input into what type of death process you desire, then your wishes should be respected. But that can only happen, or the best option for assuring that you will have the end of life that you would want is to have your attorney prepare an Advanced Directive, which can set out what, if any extraordinary life-sustaining measure you want. This can be as general or specific as you want, such as a particular type of music or scent that you want in the room while you are in the last stages or your life, or it can include such requests as that you want or don’t want antibiotics and IV fluids or only palliative care measures. There is no right or wrong answer to what type of death you want: what matters is that your wishes are known. One resource that many clients find valuable in preparing their Advanced Directive is a book called, “At Peace: Choosing a Good Death After a Long Life,” by Samuel Harrington M.D. https://www.amazon.com/At-Peace-Choosing-Death-After/dp/1478917415
Diana Telfer can help you consider your options and develop an Estate Plan with a Will, Power of Attorney, Medical/Health Care Power of Attorney and Advanced Directive that will give you comfort that your wishes will be respected, honored and followed as you reach that stage of your life.