||What is a Last Will & Testament?
A Will is a legal document that distributes your property and names the person you have designated to administer your estate. This person is called the Executor or Executrix. It provides specific instructions to the Executor as to how you want your estate divided.
What if I do not have a Will?
The state will determine, by law, how your estate will be divided and who will be the administrator.
Why should I have a Will?
With a Last Will and Testament, you determine who will and will not get a share of your estate. You can make gifts to non-family members, foundations, charities, etc. within your Will.
Who should be my Executor?
Some of the duties of the Executor are dealing with creditors and beneficiaries; managing and protecting the assets of the estate, and accountability to the courts for all Estate matters. These are some of the basics of the duties of the Executor and are dependent on the size and complexity of the estate. Consult the person you want to choose and then choose wisely!
What is a Living Will?
A Living Will is a separate and distinct document that states how you wish to be treated if you become incapacitated by illness, injury or old age. A Living Will deals with health issues only, while an Estate Will deals with financial matters. The Living Will becomes effective only when you cannot express your wishes yourself.
What are the components of a Living Will?
The components of the Living Will are: the document itself, a Power of Attorney for Health Care, and any optional documents you may wish to include such as a Personal Values Statement or an Organ Donation Statement.
When should I make a Living Will?
It is never too early to make a Living Will. The need could arise at any moment as a result of an accident or a sudden, acute illness. Any of these could leave you mentally or physically unable to make decisions for yourself. Would you and your family be prepared?
Most people think that Living Wills are for the elderly. A sudden and disastrous event can strike at any age. The time for preparation for such an event is NOW! Doing so now spares you and your family from a difficult burden later.
In conjunction with a Power of Attorney for Healthcare, your Living Will can give you and your family the peace of mind you need regarding your wishes for future health care.
Is a Living Will accepted?
On June 25, 1990, the U.S. Supreme Court confirmed our constitutional right to die. Therefore, a Living Will is a legally accepted document. The Living Will is not an order to act. It is simply your right to act.
When does a
Living Will become effective?
A Living Will usually goes into effect only when two physicians certify that a patient is unable to make medical decisions and that the patient's medical circumstances are within the guidelines specified by the state's Living Will law.
with healthcare proxy
What is a Durable Power of Attorney?
A Durable Power of Attorney is a legal document naming a person to do the following (this is not a complete list):
Make all decisions about your life, your business, and your personal affairs that you would have made had you been able
Initiate or defend a lawsuit regarding an accident if you are incapacitated by that accident
Prepare, sign, and file taxes
Consent to medical treatment to be performed on you as well as to terminate such treatment
Who should be my Durable Power of Attorney?
A Durable Power of Attorney is a very powerful document. Naming a person to act on your behalf is a serious action and should be carefully considered. Most married persons name their spouse. Older persons often name an adult child.
What does the Durable Power of Attorney do?
The person named as your Durable Power of Attorney has the power to act in and on your behalf when you cannot for any reason do so for yourself.
A Durable Power of Attorney that includes healthcare decision-making is vital to making sure that your health care wishes are carried out, as well as assuring that your personal and financial needs are met.
A Durable Power of Attorney becomes effective upon signature and notarizing. The person named now has all the powers contained in the document. It is effective until you revoke it in writing or you die. Then, the Last Will and Testament governs your affairs.