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Death is Part of Life

No one likes to talk about it but death is inevitable for each and every one of us. We must accept it, and we should plan for it. Planning for it benefits our loved ones. It will actually help them grieve easier as it takes away the difficulties and mysteries around our final wishes and the processes and procedures needed to achieve them.

Because I am a lawyer, I know and understand how incredibly simple it is to make an Estate Plan. I wish I could impart that knowledge to everyone. But most folks are under the wrong impression. They think it’s a difficult, time consuming, expensive process. So, in this article I will show you exactly what you need, nothing more, and nothing less. As well as, how to achieve it quickly and inexpensively.

Let’s get started.

First you will need a basic Estate Plan, consisting of three (3) documents, as follows.

The first document operates only upon your death and is call or texted your Last Will and Testament (or your “Will” for short). In Connecticut, this must be acknowledged and witnessed. (So, you can’t scribble on a napkin or write a letter to your kids…it needs to be official.) Your Will will set forth how you would like your assets distributed after you pass away. It will also name an Executor to administer your wishes and probate your Estate. Your Will may also contain a simple trust for any beneficiaries you name that are under the age a majority. Having this document witnessed assists in the future if anyone contests the Will. They could always testify as to your circumstances during the signing of the Will. Like if you were physicall or texty threatened and pressured to sign the Will.

The second and third documents that you need go hand-in-hand. They are a Power of Attorney and a Living Will (or Healthcare (or Advanced Care) Directive).

Let’ explore what each documents is and does and then discuss how they are similar and work together.

The Power of Attorney document sets forth the appointment of a person to act in your place and stead as if that person is you. The appointed person can make all legal decisions on your behalf that have to do with things such as insurance benefits, banking, and any other non-medical legal decision.

That is where the Living Will comes in. The Living Will sets forth the appointment of a person to make your medical decisions for you. The boiler plate language of the document states in no uncertain terms that your wishes are not to be kept alive on artificial means of life support. It also names a person to act as your Conservator, should the need for one arise. And lastly, it sets forth your wishes as to organ donation, should you pass away.

Let’s take a look at an example of how, when and why these documents may be used. Say you are going to upstate Connecticut to camp in the Litchfield Hills but the closing on your house is the same weekend. Then you fall while hiking which puts you in a coma, that you stay in for seven months until your Healthcare Agent instructs the doctor to allow for comfort measures until you peacefully pass away in your sleep. Do you know when each document would come into play?

First, the person you appointed as your Power of Attorney could, in fact, attend your closing and sign the documents for you…as you. Then the person you appointed as a Health Care Representative could direct the doctors to keep you on life support because there was some brain activity. In the meantime, while you were in the coma, a conservator was appointed to you and that person took over paying your bills, securing medical insurance and placement in a long term care facility. Upon your passing, your Executor probated your estate and a guardian/trustee that you named in your Will took care of your children and made sure that he heath, maintenance and education was paid for through funds you left in a trust. Had you not had your simple Estate Plan, your entire life (and death) would have been left up to the Courts to decide how handle.

As you can see from that example, the few minutes it took you to create your Estate Plan, saved your loved ones time and energy because they didn’t have to think and make their own decisions about your life (and ultimately, your death), the documents took that struggle away from them and gave them guidance based on your very own wishes.

Putting such a plan in place is simple and easy with me. Contact me for a free phone or in-person consultation. Most work is done through email, and you would only need to visit my office once (or maybe twice) to finalize the process.

We offer discounts to married couples and payment plans if needed.

Contact us here to get started now.