Probate law is the all-encompassing arena, in relation to state law and procedure, of helping people resolve what is left behind when they or their loved ones pass away. It also includes certain aspects outside of death, including becoming incapacitated, becoming old (to the point of cellular degeneration) and losing some of your faculties, or what medical procedures are desired when falling into a coma, for instance. As explained by LA Probate Law, one of the premier estate planning and probate law firms, the more preparation done when healthy, the less concerned you need to be with how the law can help or hurt you and/or your loved ones. State’s probate laws are designed to be broad and generic, but who views their own situation as broad and generic? This is just one reason why educating yourself to what estate planning options are available to you is so important. With proper consultation, you can feel secure that your affairs will always be in order and your wishes in any unfortunate occurrence will be sure to be followed through, exactly as you see fit, with no misunderstandings or unnecessary stress and burden to those closest to you.
Most people think estate planning is synonymous with writing a will. This is like believing that a dog is synonymous with a poodle. LA Probate Law explains that your last will and testament is simply one piece of the puzzle. While it may be the biggest piece, there are definitely other considerations for you and your family, and upon educating yourself on the entirety of planning your estate, you will understand that there are a multitude of preparations relating to your death, as well as a physical or mental demise. This article will briefly look at some of the major considerations of estate planning, but this is hardly going to be an all-encompassing view of what a true probate attorney can offer. These points will simply shed some light on three of the major points related to your preparations that will lessen the burden of your family and individuals closest to you. Last will and testament is the most obvious of the three components discussed here, but let us also bring other considerations to the table, such as what a living will is, and what a power of attorney affords you and what to consider when thinking about these aspects of estate planning.
Last Will and Testament
There are many options when considering what type of will is right for you. Things to consider as an individual preparing your estate are whether or not you have a spouse, partner, or significant other, do you have children under your care, do you own property, do you have a small or large amount of possessions, is your estate going to be worth a significant amount of capital, will you bequeath anything to a minor, etcetera. There are wills specifically designed for young and old adults, who are single with a minimum of capital and possessions, such as basic wills. There are others that are specifically designed for couples that intend to leave (almost) everything to their significant other, including variations depending on size of estate and if there are minor children to be considered. Some of these options include mirror wills and joint wills. Other options include trusts to be held for minor beneficiaries or trusts that have nothing to do with children. Consulting a professional, like the probate professionals at LA Probate Law, will enable you to pick the option best suited for your particular situation.
Living wills are another important aspect of planning your estate. Living wills cover a multitude of aspects, most notably what you would like done medically and personally should you become incapacitated, fall into a coma or vegetative state, or if your mental capacity becomes compromised. Medically speaking, it has a plethora of clauses including how far you would like doctors to go to keep you alive should you be in a permanent vegetative state. Many individuals have different views on such things and it is always better to have the patient dictate what should be done, as opposed to leaving that burden in the hands of a distraught family member. Not only is that an unfair position to put a loved one in, but they may not have the same view as to what should be done in such a situation. As LA Probate Law explains, you can also dictate your personal life’s affairs should you fall victim to an accident in your living will. Examples include care for your children, care for your pets, and you can decide who will tend to your affairs. Another way to help dictate who and what will be done in the unfortunate circumstance of a medical catastrophe would be appointing someone to have power of attorney over your responsibilities.
Power of Attorney
Power of attorney is when you give someone the write to represent you in any and all capacities, from a legal standpoint. When affording someone your power of attorney they can sign legal documents on your behalf, including, but not limited to financial, medical, and any other situations you need representation in. This is an extreme gift of power though and you should be incredibly careful in who you select, cause if you pick someone unscrupulous, you can extremely regret it. Consult a professional, such as the lawyers at LA Probate Law to get a clearer understanding of the considerations before you select a power of attorney.