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 web of family and business ties make estate planning all the more important. It makes sense to set aside time to reflect – at a time when you're not under pressure to make life-altering decisions – on your wishes for your own medical treatment, the disposition of your property, and selecting those you trust enough to act on your behalf if and when you are unable to manage your own legal affairs and health care decision making.
Families whose members include someone with special needs must exercise particular diligence in seeking out estate planning assistance, in order to avoid inadvertently causing a loved one to lose access to public benefits and programs through a "windfall" inheritance that disrupts the delivery of vital services and supports to them they may have been depending on for years.
In the case of the small business owner or self-employed professional, a bit of advance planning may well mean the difference between maintaining continuity of a business or losing it upon an owner or key executive’s sudden 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 helping you get your affairs in order.