Doing your own will – You get what you pay for!December 15, 2017
There are many online products and television ads which imply that you can easily write your own Will, Power of Attorney or Living Will (Advance Directive). Just because you can do it, does not mean you should.
Drafting estate planning documents requires a detailed understanding and analysis of your assets, financial situation, needs of others you are supporting or may need to support and a myriad of other concerns. Deciding who makes your medical decision and has access to your finances requires care and consideration. How much authority should they have and when should it kick in? Who is responsible (and often burdened) with an end of life decisions? Do these people know what you want to be done?
If you have young children, adult disabled children or even incapacitated parents, we can help you determine who the best choice is for the guardian of their person and the person who should manage their funds. At what age, if ever, should they have unrestricted access to the funds they inherit from you? Do you want to limit how your funds can be used such as for education or can they take a trip around the world and not work? Guess what happens if you fail to name someone – a Judge who has never met you and does not know your value system will pick the guardian AND it may not be a family member or trusted friend.
If you die without a valid Will, there is a statutory scheme, called intestacy, that determines who gets your estate. Guess what? It may not be who you think! For example, not too long ago a middle-aged married person was killed in a car accident. One would assume her estate would pass to her husband of 20+ years. However, they had no children and her parents were still living, so her husband took the 1st $30,000 and ½ of the rest. The other ½ was paid to her parents.
Don’t let someone else decide what you want to be done. Take control!
Our experienced estate planning and elder law attorneys we can assist you in defining the plan for your assets and put into the documents that ensure your wishes are fulfilled when the time comes.