Estate Planning Lawyer
Estate planning is primarily concerned with helping to ensure that the wishes of the individual are honored in the event that the individual who has created his or her estate plan passes away. However, there are numerous estate planning tools designed to help achieve certain ends during the span of an individual estate plan creator’s lifetime. For example, living trusts can help individuals pass along wealth to others while those trust creators remain alive. These tools avoid numerous kinds of burdensome taxation and may allow wealth to be passed along subject to conditions of an individual trust creator’s choice.
Similarly, an experienced estate planning attorney can help individuals to set up enforceable durable power of attorney documentation designed to ensure that an individual’s medical and financial preferences are respected in the event an individual becomes incapacitated. In the event of a serious accident or illness, adults may become either temporarily or permanently unable to make their own legally-binding decisions. A durable power of attorney helps to ensure that a trusted individual is granted the authority to make such decisions on that individual’s behalf. Absent durable power of attorney documentation, a court may be compelled to decide who is allowed this authority.
How Does a “Durable Power of Attorney” Work?
Say that a young, unmarried individual suffers an extreme injury as a result of a car accident. If that individual could speak, he or she might indicate that a sibling, dear friend or significant other should be granted the authority to make medical and financial decisions on that individual’s behalf until he or she heals enough to regain the authority to make those decisions. However, because that injured young person does not have a durable power of attorney in place, a court may decide to grant such authority to that person’s parents. This decision may not accurately reflect the individual’s wishes, but because no legally binding documentation exists to the contrary, the court rules as it sees fit.
This scenario illustrates the importance of working with an experienced estate planning attorney in order to outline enforceable preferences via durable power of attorney documentation. No matter your age, marital status or state of general health, if you are an adult, you will benefit from ensuring that your wishes are clearly stated and legally enforceable. Then, should you ever become medically and/or legally incapable of making your own decisions, someone you trust will be granted the authority to do so until you can resume your independence in this way.
Estate Planning Guidance Is Available
If you have questions about durable power of attorney documentation (how to complete it, what it entails, how to enforce it, etc.), please do not hesitate to speak with an experienced estate planning attorney today. The process of determining your wishes in the event of incapacitation can be intimidating. But an experienced attorney will be able to walk you through the process as efficiently and effectively as is possible. This important task cannot wait, so please call an estate planning law firm in Ridgefield, CT today.
Thanks to Sweeney Legal for their insight into estate planning and a durable power of attorney.