Kentucky and Ohio Trusts and Estates Attorneys Helping You Plan
Preserving your family’s wealth for future generations
The term “Estate Planning” means executing the legal documents which ensure that you control decisions regarding the rest of your life and the distribution of your property at death. There are three types of documents that every adult needs: A will and/or trust, a general durable power of attorney and a living will/designation of health care surrogate.
A will, trust or a combination of both provide that your assets are handled properly during your lifetime and are distributed as you wish when you die. Trusts can be used for many purposes: To determine who will handle your finances if you or your spouse become incapacitated, to preserve funds for your grandchildren’s education, to provide extra income for a child or grandchild who is disabled, to ensure that assets pass to your children (rather than your spouse’s children) if you are in a second-marriage situation–and many more. Moreover, trusts can alleviate the need for your family to have to go through the probate process, allowing assets to flow easily to the recipient you have chosen without any court involvement or legal fees.
A General Durable Power of Attorney (POA) is a document of incalculable value if you ever become temporarily or permanently unable to handle your own affairs. It appoints someone you trust to take care of paying your bills, handling your assets, dealing with investments, pensions, insurance, social security and more. In today’s “privacy-conscious” society, the POA has become an absolute necessity because even your spouse is prevented from taking care of important matters without having the authority the POA grants. If you become disabled without having executed a POA, your family will be forced to go through a cumbersome court procedure to have you declared “incompetent”, at which time the court appoints someone (and not necessarily who YOU would choose) to make your personal and financial decisions and requires the “Guardian and/or Conservator” to file regular reports with the Court.
A Living Will and Appointment of Health Care Surrogate is the third document. It allows you to appoint one or more person to make health care decisions for you if you are unable to speak on your own behalf. It also provides guidance regarding your desires regarding being kept alive by artificial means and regarding organ donation.
Contact an estate planning law firm you can trust.
For estate planning services throughout Kentucky and Ohio, call Elder Law Center of Northern Kentucky at 859-491-8333 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.