Living Will and Power of Attorney documents

Wills & Estate Planning

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Planning for the Future? Start with Will and Estate Planning

A Family Law Attorney Can Help You Plan Your Will and Estate

According to a 2019 survey by the New York Post, three out of five American adults do not have a plan for their future finances. Accidents and death are two things no individual or family enjoys discussing, let alone planning for them; however, finding the right family law attorney can soften the blow of future planning. Experienced attorneys can help you successfully prepare a trust, will and estate, and other various documents that fit your family or life. Family law attorney Michael S. Bailey at Bailey Legal Services, PLLC, can guide you throw the process of creating or updating a will, creating a living will, choosing the right power of attorney, and much more.

What is a Will and Estate?

If you are not sure why exactly you need a written will, attorney Bailey is here for you. Wills and estates determine where your assets and property will go after your death. Whether you plan to leave your home and assets to your child, or you want to donate your remaining funds to charity, you must include all of this information in your will. Without a will, your estate will fall into the hands of the state to distribute how they see fit.

When Do I Need to Update or Change My Will?

In some cases, it can be fairly obvious when it comes time to change your will. If you had more children, went through a divorce, or experienced other impactful life changes, it is best to look over the will to make sure there are not important changes. Those who made their will before having children may want to change where their assets go, or you may need to change who will take care of your minor children after your death.

Some things you may overlook can include change in financial status, moving, or updating the will as your children age. If you now own a business, do you want it to stay in your family? Where will those assets go? Did you move states? Are those laws the same as your home state? When you can’t find the answers to these questions, talk with family law attorney Michael S. Bailey.

What is a Living Will? Do I Need One?

Living wills, as the name suggest, can dictate health care while you are still living. Your living will goes into action when a doctor deems you unconscious or unfit to continue making decisions. Like a will and estate plan, updating your living will as your life changes never hurts. One thing to consider is that living wills can also vary by state. When you are planning a big move, or possibly work or frequently travel to another state, double check to make sure that your living will fits their laws.

Tips for Choosing the Right Power of Attorney

A power of attorney is someone that can make decisions for you when you are unconscious or unfit to make them for yourself. Choosing your power of attorney may seem like a no-brainer, but there are always small problems that can arise from the time you decide until you need them to act. A few tips to make this decision and process can include:

Have a backup. Depending on the situation, your POA may not feel comfortable making an important decision. Listing someone else in your instructions can give you peace of mind in case anything goes wrong. This can also help if your original agent dies before they must act on your behalf.

Understand the difference between medical and financial power of attorney. A medical power of attorney, as the name suggests, can oversee medical treatment and care when you can no longer advocate for yourself. The financial power of attorney will take care of finances while you are unconscious or too injured to handle your own finances. If you are unsure of how to properly decide on the proper power or attorney, talk with family law attorney Michael S. Bailey.

Choose someone you trust. This may seem obvious, but do not let anyone convince you to let them be your power of attorney. Choosing someone who keeps your best interest in mind can help keep your assets, property, and loved ones secure. You get to choose what your POA can do – make sure you choose wisely.

Discuss your plans with the person you choose. If you ask a spouse or family member to be your power of attorney, they may not want the job. Having to make grave decisions for a loved one can be extremely difficult, and it’s best to double check that the person you choose is okay with your decision. If they are unsure but agree anyway, refer to having a backup in case they change their mind.

Getting Through Probate – How to Ensure Your Will is Valid

For some wills, the court will go through the probate process to prove that it is valid. Your will must be in writing, signed and dated, and have the proper amount of witnesses. As we mentioned, dying without a valid will and estate, or without one at all, will leave you intestate, meaning that the state will distribute your property, possibly going against your wishes. If that is not enough to make you want a will and estate plan, then talk with attorney Michael S. Bailey in Barboursville, WV, to learn the many benefits of future planning.

Are you ready to plan your will and estate? Call Bailey Legal Services, PLLC, at (304) 736-0801. Our office provides legal services for families to better plan for their future. For updates on this and other subjects that may affect your life, “like” our Facebook page and check out our site.