A typical estate plan contemplates death which is inevitable. However your estate plan also needs to thoroughly prepare for the possibility of disability. If someone becomes disabled and does not have an estate plan then Probate Court intervention will be necessary to make personal and financial decisions for the disabled person. This is true even when a husband and wife jointly own their assets.
A Financial Durable Power of Attorney is a legal document that allows someone you select to make financial decisions for you if you were to become disabled. Even if you have a Revocable Living Trust you still need a Financial Durable Power of Attorney because the Trust does not control all aspects of your financial life. For example a Trust would not allow someone to file tax returns, manage your retirement accounts, or make insurance decisions for you if you were disabled.
The Financial Durable Power of Attorney can be prepared to protect your assets from the catastrophic costs of long term care in a nursing home if you become disabled. The firm has substantial experience in qualifying disabled clients for Medicaid and is familiar with the complex income and asset rules of that government entitlement. Without the proper language in a Financial Durable Power of Attorney asset protection may be lost. Call us today to set up an estate plan that protects you. We can also update an existing estate plan if it does not adequately allow for asset protection from the costs of long term care.
Without a Financial Durable Power of Attorney if you become disabled a Probate Court proceeding known as a Conservatorship would be necessary for someone to make financial decisions for you. The Court would determine who that person is and what they may do for you. There is no guarantee that the Probate Court would allow for asset protection which makes it a priority for you to do so on your own.
A Medical Durable Power of Attorney is a legal document which you may have prepared for you by an experienced attorney so that your wishes are made known about your health care. You would select someone to carry out your wishes as expressed in the document. This would include end of life care decisions. Without this document a Guardianship proceeding in Probate Court would be necessary to allow someone to make personal decisions for you if you become disabled. The Court would determine who that person is and what they may do for you.
The firm also regularly prepares HIPAA authorizations so that medical professionals and insurance companies can discuss your care with your pre-selected loved ones. Contact us today for an appointment to prepare your Medical Durable Power of Attorney and HIPAA authorization.
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