Important Legal Documents

Whether you are just getting married, having your first child, building wealth, facing a health crisis, or just thinking about the future, one thing is for certain:  You are planning something important.  In that planning, EVERYONE, regardless of financial status, needs three simple legal documents to protect them and the one's they love….

Financial Power of Attorney

This document appoints an 'Agent' to access all of your financial accounts and real property for your benefit when you are unable to manage your assets yourself.  It is much more useful than simply allowing the Agent access to a single bank account; a general financial power of attorney gives your Agent complete access to your entire estate.   That may sound a little scary — but you do not authorize them to use the document until you cannot manage your financial affairs yourself.  It is important for an attorney to review the functions of this document with you.

A Will or Trust

While the Agent appointed under your Power of Attorney for Finances document manages your assets while living, a Will is a document that appoints an Executor — someone who will manage your estate for you after you die.  An Executor's job is to gather all of your assets together, pay the taxes owed, and distribute your assets to your heirs.  Sometimes assets are also put into a trust for the benefit of minor children or disabled persons.  

Everyone over the age of 18 who owns any type of property or cash asset should consider making a Will.  It is especially important for the elderly — but it is also a vital planning tool for young families

Medical Power of Attorney
 
This document appoints an 'Agent' to represent you to medical personnel — and to speak FOR you when you cannot speak for yourself.  It also grants "HIPAA" rights to access your medical records, grant permission to speak to your doctors on your behalf) and the document may also give your Agent power to admit you to various medical facilities.  

The person you select as your Agent should be thoroughly familiar with your wishes — particularly for end-of-life decision making.  A Medical POA may also contain something we call a "living will" — which is your personal statement about heroic measures.   

In many cases, setting up all three documents takes one consultation and costs are very reasonable.