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Wills, Revocable Trusts, Powers of Attorney, and Advanced Directives
A will is a legal document drafted and executed in accordance with state law that becomes irrevocable upon death. Many times a pour-over will is created along with living trusts in order to avoid probate. A pour-over will passes all property through the will into a trust upon the death of the party. It is then distributed to the trust beneficiaries. A pour-over will simplifies the process to ensure that all assets, which are not placed in the trust, are distributed to the beneficiaries in accordance with the drafter’s intention.
Revocable Living Trusts
A trust dictates exactly how an individual’s property will be managed, allocated, and distributed throughout his or her lifetime or upon death. A “living” trust entails that an individual created the trust while he or she was still alive. The trust is designated as “revocable” in that the trust creator reserves the right to make changes to, amend, or even revoke the trust during his or her lifetime. A Revocable Living Trust eliminates challenges to the trust. A standard will may cause family disputes after your passing and may be challenged for modification by any member of your family. By utilizing a trust, you can particularly disinherit any individual who posts a challenge to your desires upon your demise. If you would like to establish a Revocable Living Trust, it is very important to secure the advice and guidance of a Pecos Law Group trust attorney. A knowledgeable attorney will help you determine the best terms of your trust agreement and ensure that your Revocable Living Trust follows state and federal guidelines.
The Benefits of a Revocable Living Trust
A revocable living trust is an effective tool as you start your estate planning process. This is particularly helpful for individuals who are beginning to plan their estate and are not yet confident who exactly to name as beneficiaries.
A Revocable Living Trust is Flexible
One of the main advantages of a revocable living trust is that it gives the creator the ability to undo or alter the terms of the trust. A number of circumstances may arise that call for a change to be made to the trust agreement. A marriage, divorce, illness, death, or even a simple change of mind can necessitate an amendment to the trust. A revocable trust can be utilized to control a guardian’s spending habits for the benefit of your minor children.
Powers of Attorney
Durable Power of Attorney Over Financial Decisions.
If you become incapacitated, it is important to have the following questions already answered: Who will be selected to make difficult decisions regarding your finances? What powers and responsibility will that person have over your finances? A variety of professionals from stockbrokers, banks, real estate professionals, etc. recognize the Durable Power of Attorney for Finance as a document that accurately reflects your wishes, as they should be followed. This preserves your intention for funds and assets as it pertains to real property, payment of bills and debts, and any other aspects of your financial life that you choose.
Durable Power of Attorney Over Medical Decisions.
In the event you become unable to direct your health decisions, who will be cognizant of your beliefs and wishes? Who will run your business? Who will make your medical decisions should you become incapacitated? End-of-life decisions and significant health decisions require a well thought out conversation to ensure the proper person will adhere to your wishes. This written document is recognized by doctors and hospitals, and is one of the most important documents you will ever sign. A written document setting forth such directives is recognized, provided it is signed, and will ensure the expression of your wishes is followed.
A living will, also referred to as an Advance Directive, is a legal document that lets other people, and specifically medical professionals, know what your personal wishes are with regard to end-of-life medical care.
For example, a living wills law outlines the procedures and medications you might want (or, the ones you might not want) should you fall into a coma or a vegetative state.
A living will also addresses the question of if and when you want life support systems to be used; and, relatedly, the question of if and when you want those life support systems to be removed.
Is a Living Will the Same as a Power of Attorney?
As you consider getting a living will, you may have some questions about how it compares and contrasts with a medical power of attorney. While both documents pertain to end-of-life medical care, they address the issue in different ways. A living will outlines your personal wishes, whereas a medical power of attorney appoints another person to be your legal representative, making healthcare decisions on your behalf should you be unable to make them yourself.
A living wills lawyer can speak with you further about these crucial distinctions.
Is a Living Will the Same as a Will?
Another question to ask your will and trust attorney: Is a living will the same thing as a regular will?
The short answer here is no. Remember, your last will and testament is solely concerned with how your assets are distributed upon your death. In other words, it addresses a totally different set of estate planning questions.
You may actually benefit from having both a living will and a last will and testament. Speak with our wills and trusts attorney to find out more.