The words “estate” and “plan” conjure up images of a vast fortune requiring precise machinations. In fact, the planning portion does require some work (which, for the most part, I do for you) but the estate is as much about your health and wellness as it is about your money.
There are times - such as long-term travel or serious illness – when a person it unable to handle his or her own affairs. At those times, it is helpful to have a trusted person step in to make decisions regarding your financial matters or health care.
A general durable power of attorney allows you to name an agent to make and carry out decisions regarding your finances. If you want the power to become effective at some date or upon the occurrence of a date in the future, the power may be designated as a “springing power of attorney,” meaning that it only springs into effect upon the occurrence of a triggering event. A financial power of attorney may also be drafted to become effective immediately upon signing. I often receive calls from prospective clients wanting to know if they can obtain a power of attorney over the assets of a person who has died. A power of attorney can be granted only by a living person and therefore, cannot be given after death.
A health care power of attorney should generally become effective upon signing because one never knows when a sudden illness or incapacity may strike.
A trust and will generally deal with the disposition of assets, although a will may also be used to name a guardian for minor children. One principal difference between wills and trusts is that a trust is a contract that becomes effective immediately upon signing – and during your lifetime. That is why it is called a “living trust.” A will, on the other hand, becomes effective only when you die.
Although marvelous strides have been made in medicine and other sciences, I don’t know of anyone who has been able to open a window onto the future. That is why getting your affairs in order today is the smart move. Call Agins Law Firm, PLC, PLC at (480) 401-2660 or at www.aginslawfirm.com today to schedule a no-cost consultation.