Category: Estate Planning

Power of Attorney is an essential estate planning tool!

A durable power of attorney is an essential estate planning tool. A durable power of attorney can be utilized for Financial and/or Appointment of a Health Care Representative. A Financial Power of Attorney and a Heath Care Power of Attorney should be part of your estate plan whether you are an individual or a couple.

Why create a power of attorney? Because, if you become disabled and unable to handle your affairs this document can be invaluable. If, you are in an accident and are unable to make decisions or handle your financial affairs or your health care needs, the person designated as your power of attorney can do that for you. A person must be competent in order to create a power of attorney. If you are in an accident or have an illness that renders you  not competent to handle your Affairs you are probably not competent to create a power of attorney at that time. Creating a power of attorney and naming a person as your power of attorney does not mean that person must act for you, it allows them to if the need arises. You can still conduct your own Affairs and handle all of your financial and health care needs while you are competent and able to do so.

What makes a power of attorney such a wonderful estate planning tool is that if it is needed it can be used instead of the need for a guardianship. A guardianship is a procedure where a relative, friend, or other interested  person files a petition  in  the court requesting the court to appoint them guardian of your person and/or estate in order to make decisions for you financially or for your health care. There will generally be a hearing in front of the judge. Guardianship proceedings  can be somewhat costly and will take some time to accomplish. Having a power of attorney in place in case it might be needed is something we recommend for all of our clients.

Financial Durable Power of Attorney and Durable Power of Attorney Appointing a Health Care Representative are very important but sometimes are never used, however if needed they can make it a lot easier and substantially less burdensome for the person who is now tasked with making all your financial and medical decisions. The need for a power of attorney is not usually known until it is too late. To prevent unnecessary hard-ache and additional costs and time, invest in a power of attorney now, making that one less thing that a loved one must deal with at a later time.

We, at Perry Law Office, P.C., feel this is an essential part of any estate plan and will strongly suggest you create both a Financial Durable Power of Attorney and Durable Power of Attorney Appointing a Health Care Representative along with your Will. These estate planning documents working well together and help to fully ensure that your wishes are carried out as you intended. In general Power of Attorneys end at death and a Will does not become effective until death.

Call Perry Law Office to talk to an experienced Estate Planning Attorney for a free telephone consultation to see if a power of attorney is something that is right for you.

Thank you

Perry Law Office, P.C.
260-483-3110
www.perryoffice.net

Have you “mapped out” your assets for your heirs?

You probably have a Last Will and Testament describing how assets are to be distributed, but have you made a list of where those assets can be found? You want to make sure your family is able to locate everything you have worked so very hard for. An asset inventory is a simple list which makes it easier on your loved ones by telling them exactly where to find all your assets and various accounts.

You may have numerous bank accounts with different banking institutions, cash, collectibles, online accounts, emails, retirement plans, insurance policies, and perhaps even receive “paperless” statements only via email. It is a good idea to leave a list of passwords, account numbers and locations. Your asset inventory may include:

  • Bank and investment accounts
  • Safe Deposit Box
  • Insurance and annuity policies
  • Stocks and bonds
  • Deeds and titles
  • Retirement Accounts (IRA, 401K, etc)
  • Life Insurance policies (any post-death benefits)
  • Cash, jewelry, valuables
  • Email and online accounts with passwords.
  • Certain bills or premiums you pay may also be included
  • Combinations to a safe or location of a safe key

This is a very important Estate Planning step, that most people forget about. Doing this very simple step, could save your loved ones hours of time and energy trying to locate and organize all your varous assets.

After you have mapped it all out, tell a loved one where you are going to keep the list. Generally you keep it in your safe along with your Will and other important documents (remember you should give someone the combination to your safe or a way to access it). Remember to periodically update your asset inventory, and always update your Will with major life events. Call Perry Law Office now and our experienced attorneys will help you decide if now is the time to make changes to your Will or help you with your other Estate Planning needs.

Do I need a Will?

Every adult person should probably have a Will or some other estate plan that they have thought about and implemented. A Will is perhaps the most common estate planning device and is one of the simplest and easiest to implement. Most people do not think about getting a Will until an event in their life causes them to feel the need to do so. Some of the most common calls, we at Perry Law Office often get are calls from newlyweds, couples or individuals that have just had or are expecting their first child, someone in bad or deteriorating health, or from an adult child regarding their mother or father who has put it off way to long. The Attorneys at Perry Law office have also had calls from people who did not consider the need for an estate plan until they were getting ready to go on a trip. All of these are great reasons to start thinking about a Will. However, it is best, to consider some sort of an estate plan early in your adult life, but you are never to old to start this process either. You never know what the future might bring, and if you die without a Will or other estate plan your assets might not be distributed to the persons that you want. For example, an adult unmarried individual that has no children and dies without a Will or other estate plan would have their assets distributed to their parents, and their brothers and sisters. This may or may not be what they would actually want to happen. A Will is a easy to dictate where your assets go and who gets them. People are often surprised at how easy, and inexpensive it is to create a simple estate plan. They often comment that if they had known it would be this easy they would have done it much earlier. Call Perry Law Office today and speak to one of our experience lawyers for a free telephone consultation to determine if now is the right time for you to consider a Will, or some other type of estate plan.  

 

Importance of Estate Planning: “WHAT IF” ~ Wills

No one wants to think about the “what ifs”. Therefore, most people ignore them and do not plan ahead. Do NOT be one of those people when it comes to preparing your Last Will and Testament. Your eventual death is not a “what if” it is a when. Hopefully, it is a long time from now, but “what if” that is not the case. And even if it is, why not be prepared now?

Hopefully, it is a long time from now, but “what if” that is not the case. And even if it is, why not be prepared now?  A Last Will only comes into play after an individual passes away. A Will is NOT only for you, but also for your loved ones that you leave behind. What if, I get in an accident on the way home from work? Who will take care of my children?  If you have minor children or pets, a Will is a great way to ensure they are in good hands if you unexpectedly pass away. Naming a guardian is one of the most important things you can do as a parent.

A Will also allows you to more easily pass on your assets after your death to those you love. It is a legal document that is essential to any estate plan. A Last Will ensures that your children or other loved ones receive your real and personal property. It allows a legal means for your loved ones to more easily navigate the tricky law of Estates and Probate. Do not leave your loved ones unprepared upon your death, plan ahead and contact the Fort Wayne lawyers at Perry Law Office to help create a Will that meets your specific needs.