Yuletide is just around the corner. They say it’s the most wonderful time of the…
So it’s Valentine’s Day and I’m thinking – what better time to consider the people in our lives who we care about the most? And, more importantly, how can we protect them if something happens to us.
It’s human nature – we don’t like to think about things like dying, becoming seriously ill or ending up in a nursing home, until we are forced to. But at the time of crisis, it’s even more difficult to deal with. As elder law and estate planning attorneys, we get those calls on a regular basis and we help people through the crisis. But, unfortunately, there are times where helping them is more difficult and complicated than it needed to be.
There are basic, but invaluable, legal documents that can be life (and asset!) savers. The most important of these are a durable power of attorney, health care proxy and living will. With these documents, you can choose who can handle your affairs for you if you become sick or disabled. YOU DECIDE who handles your money. YOU DECIDE who makes health decisions for you. Without these documents, you are leaving these decisions to up to a court-appointed guardian. I don’t know about you, but with all due respect to the judges, I certainly would not want a judge to decide what is best for me. So I have taken care of it and I have these documents for myself.
Of course there are other documents that also can be vital in protecting loved ones. A Last Will and Testament can be crafted with specific provisions to protect someone who might be ill (or become ill) or have some other special needs. A living trust can be established to protect assets for the one’s you care about most.
Like many things, it is often the fear of the unknown. But if you can find a caring, thoughtful and experienced elder law and estate planning attorney like those in our office, why not face it now? Give it a try – it’s probably not as difficult as you think…to protect the ones you love.