No one is able to predict the future and unexpected events can pop up at a moment’s notice. This can be seen recently with the spread of the Coronavirus disease impacting people’s lives in unimaginable ways. It is because of this that it is critical to always have a plan in place in the event of death or incapacitation. This can be accomplished by creating an estate plan with the assistance of an experienced estate planning attorney to make sure you are making a plan that suits your wishes.
Why Should I Have a Will?
Many people collect cherished belongings throughout their life and want them to be passed down through generations. This can be done with a detailed will that outlines what the owner wants to do with them in the event of their death. When a person dies without a will, it is known as dying “intestate.” In these situations, the assets are distributed to the deceased’s surviving family member based on a succession schedule. This can include children, parents, siblings, and grandparents. With a will, a person can ensure their assets do not fall into the wrong hands. In addition to this, they can be sure there is no worry about where the assets would go if there was no plan for them.
What is a Power of Attorney?
When a power of attorney is appointed, the person can make life decisions and fulfill certain tasks on behalf of another party if they are physically or mentally unable to do so themselves. For example, in times of the Coronavirus, there are many people who are quarantined in their house or in the hospital. This can require them to need another person to handle certain matters for them. This can include paying bills, making bank deposits and withdrawals, obtaining medical records, filing tax returns, buying and selling property, hiring caretakers, transferring assets, and more.
What is an Advanced Health Care Directive?
An advanced healthcare directive allows a person the kind of medical care they want to receive if they physically or mentally cannot communicate their desires. This is also referred to as a living will, health care proxy, or power of attorney for healthcare. Once a person is appointed to handle these matters, they can handle any of the following:
- Authorize loved ones to obtain medical records in emergencies
- Indicate if the document is effective immediately or upon a finding of incapacity
- Set the standard for determining the person’s incapacity
- Communicate their wishes to receive or not receive life-saving care
- Ensure decisions are made in accordance with the individual’s beliefs, principles or religious practices
- Any additional health care wishes or concerns
Contact our Firm
Stone Crosby, P.C. has proudly served clients in Alabama for over 100 years. Our firm has experience handling matters including divorce and family law, estate planning and administration, business law, employment law, class actions, consumer protection, business law, real estate law, among many others. If you require quality legal representation, contact our firm today to schedule a consultation.