WHAT THREE IMPORTANT LEGAL DOCUMENTS SHOULD EVERYONE HAVE . . . AND KEEP CURRENT?
(1) A Last Will and Testament
(2) A Durable Health Care Power of Attorney/Advance Declaration
(3) A Durable General Power of Attorney
No one wants to think about death, disability or other incapacity. Sadly, the uncertainties of modern life and our complex family and business ties make estate planning all the more important. Set aside time to reflect, when you're not under pressure to make life-altering decisions, on your wishes for the medical care you'll receive, how you wish to dispose of your property, and choosing people you trust enough to act on your behalf if and when you're unable to manage your own legal affairs and health care decision making.
Families whose members include someone with special needs must be particularly diligent in obtaining estate planning assistance, if they are to avoid accidentally causing a loved one to lose access to public benefits and programs. Ironically, a "windfall" inheritance can disrupt the delivery of vital services and supports to special needs individuals that they may have depended upon for years.
In the case of the small business owner or self-employed professional, proper advance planning may mean the difference between maintaining continuity of a business or losing it upon an owner or key executive’s death or disability. If you don’t have (or haven’t updated for quite some time) the documents mentioned above, I hope you'll allow me to be of professional assistance in getting your affairs in order.