Wills and Estate Planning

A will allows a person to decide what will happen to property upon death.  When you have a will prepared, you have the opportunity to decide who will receive your property and when they will receive it.  You may designate a person to administer your estate and you can determine what powers they will have to settle your affairs upon your passing.

If you do not have a will when you die, the state will determine where your property goes, pursuant to the state intestacy statutes.  Once made, your will can be changed or revoked at any time. Sometimes, there are certain life events which would prompt a change, such as marriage, separation, divorce or birth of a child.

In conjunction with having a will prepared, you should also consider having a health care proxy and power of attorney drafted as part of your estate plan.

A health care proxy is a document which allows you to appoint another to act as your agent to make health care decisions for you should you be unable to make or communicate health decisions for yourself.  This type of document is important for all individuals, not just the elderly and infirm.  A health care agent can make decisions for you in the unfortunate event of an accident or emergency.

A power of attorney allows you to designate another to act as your agent to perform certain acts if you become incompetent.  Even if you jointly own your assets with another, having a power of attorney allows another to manage your interests in a situation where you are unable.

You should contact Fraier & Maillet to schedule a consult so that we may discuss the various ways in which you can manage your affairs in the event you are incompetent or unable to make decisions, and control the disposition of your estate upon your passing.

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