Do you think you don’t need a will?
Or maybe you drafted a will by yourself that you think is adequate.
Did you know that Warren Burger, former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court drafted his own will, yet even his resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars in unnecessary taxes and probate fees?
The lesson? You should have a will - and it should be drafted by a professional estate planning attorney.
A properly drafted will can give you and your loved ones numerous benefits. It outlines exactly who you want to receive your property after you pass away, rather than having the state distribute your assets. More importantly, it allows you to name a guardian for your minor children, so that, in the unfortunate circumstances of a premature death, your children will be immediately provided and cared for. Your will can also set up a trust for the financial benefit of your minor children.
When I draft a will for a client, one extra benefit I include is a Health Care Directive and a Durable General Power of Attorney as part of a complete estate plan. The Advanced Health Care Directive outlines your wishes on matters such as life prolonging medical treatment, organ donation, artificial nutrition, the disposition of your remains, pain relief, and funeral arrangements.
Once it is drafted, your agent has a duty to work with your doctor to ensure that your decisions are respected and carried out. If you fail to draft a health care directive, those decisions will be made for you by your family members. Burdening your family with these decisions can cause tension, stress and conflict at the worst possible time.
Another important element we build in is the Durable Power of Attorney. This allows you to name an agent to make financial decisions for you if you become sick or incapacitated. It gives your agent the power to pay your bills so that your financial responsibilities are not neglected. The failure to have a properly drafted power of attorney document can result in damage to your credit, back taxes, and even the seizure of your assets.
Contact us today for a free consultation to see how you and your family can prevent these problems and also benefit from a properly drafted Last Will and Testament and Estate Plan.
“All you can take with you is that which you’ve given away.’”
~ It's a Wonderful Life 1946