Are Your Loved Ones Truly Protected?
The bonds you share with close friends and family should survive even the most difficult circumstances. When your life or the life of someone you love is thrown off course due to injury, disability, illness, or death, those bonds become more important than ever.
Protecting and ensuring care for the people who matter most requires foresight and early planning. The unexpected is always looming. Without proper legal documents in place, you are relying on a court to make decisions for you in the case of your death or incapacity, and there is no guaranty that a court will make the decisions you would have wanted for you and your family. To feel confident that your loved ones are insulated and safeguarded, you will want to have the following legal protections in place:
Durable Power of Attorney for Finances
At some point, you may be unable to make important decisions on your own, either temporarily or permanently. A power of attorney gives someone you trust the right to make important decisions and act on your behalf, such as making sure bills are paid and assets are managed. Without this document in place, it may be difficult, expensive, or even impossible for your loved ones to stand up for your interests, and a court proceeding to appoint a guardian would be required. The person appointed by the court to be your guardian will not necessarily be the person you would choose for the job. Make sure that you and the people closest to you—your children, spouse, elderly parents—all have power of attorney protections in place.
Living Will/Health Care Power of Attorney
This document permits you to name someone to make health care decisions for you if you should become incapacitated, whether temporarily or permanently. A lot of difficult choices need to be made following a serious illness or injury. If someone has not been granted authority to make them, restrictions and confusion will only make a difficult situation worse. A guardianship proceeding would be required. With a health care power of attorney in place, loved ones can make the most important decisions about each other’s care, well-being, and wishes.
Wills and Trusts
A Will or Trust can help ensure financial stability and security to protect your loved ones after you pass. A Will naming Guardians for minor children is essential for your children’s protection should something happen to you. Without one, a court would determine who would care for your children, and there is no guaranty that the person chosen by the court would be the same person you would choose for the job. Furthermore, without Wills and/or Trusts defining exactly how your assets should be distributed, your estate may be less protected than you expect. A carefully executed estate plan ensures that your wishes are carried out faithfully, without delay, and by someone you trust. You continue to have a positive impact on your family, your social circle, your community, and your favorite causes even after you’re gone.
Ideally, you will either never need these protections or not need them until years from now. But unless you put them in place early and for all your loved ones, you can’t feel fully confident that you are protected in case of the unexpected. To begin making these protections official, reach out to an experienced attorney from Schloemer Law Firm.