For many people, the question of what will happen to their assets after their death is one they might rather avoid answering. However, having an estate plan to provide directions regarding how you would like to distribute your assets can save your family from significant stress and conflict. A well prepared estate plan can minimize the chance of conflicts between family members over the distribution of your estate, and minimize the tax consequences. If you do not have a will or estate plan when you die, state law will decide how your property is distributed, and the distribution under state law may be very different from what you would have preferred.
A comprehensive estate plan should include an Advanced Directive for healthcare. This document allows you to express your preferences as to the type of medical care you wish to receive in the event you are incapacitated, and also appoints an agent to act on your behalf if you are unable to express your desires. In this way, not only do you get to make these important decisions yourself, but you also spare your loved ones from making decisions that they may not be prepared to make. In many situations, it is advisable to have a general or specific power of attorney to allow a spouse, partner, or other individual to sign on your behalf in the event of your disability.
We have many years of experience advising clients with respect to matters relating to the disposition of their estates, and end-of-life questions and decisions. We can assist you with the preparation of the documents necessary to ensure that your wishes are fulfilled with respect to these matters.
Note: Every case is unique and is dependent upon the facts and law involved. Success in one case does not guarantee a similar outcome in another matter.