Health Care Directive & Living Will

What is a Health Care Directive?

An Advanced Health Care Directive, often referred to as a “living will,” helps family members understand your wishes so that you are treated with dignity should your medical condition deteriorate. Due to its sensitive nature, many people do not like to discuss the topic of whether or not to stop medical treatment. If one does not have a health care directive, it leads to family members agonizing over what you “would have wanted.” The Advanced Health Care Directive can eliminate the stress on family members, as you have clearly communicated your wishes in a legal document.

Last Will & Testament

Why do I need a will?

A will allows you to:

  • Specify to whom you want to receive your assets
  • Designate guardianship of your children
  • Appoint a Trustee of any money left for minors
  • Choose an appropriate age at which your minors can receive money outright

Without a will, the state will decide these matters for you via the laws of intestacy. While the laws of intestacy vary from state to state, in general, when one dies leaving a spouse and children, one’s assets will be divided among them in some manner specified by law. If one dies without a spouse or children, the state will determine who among one’s relatives will inherit a portion or all of the estate.

Power Of Attorney

Why do I need a Durable Power of Attorney?

A Power of Attorney is a legal document that allows one person to give another person specific powers to act on one’s behalf. The word “durable” means that the document will remain valid even if you become legally incompetent. The person executing the document is referred to as the “principal,” while the person named to act on one’s behalf is referred to as the “agent” or “attorney-in-fact.” One example of how one may use a Power of Attorney is in the sale of real property. If a seller is unavailable to sign the deed and other closing documents on the closing date, he can give his agent the power to sign on his behalf.