Why Do I Need a Will?
A will puts you in control of how your assets are distributed. It insures that your assets are given to your spouse and other loved ones who may be in need of your assets upon your death.
If you die without a will, your estate will be distributed by a court pursuant to the laws of the state of your residency at the time of your death. Your spouse may only be entitled to a portion of your estate. Relatives whom you may have no personal relationship with may be entitled to portions of your estate. Furthermore, some of your relatives may have substantial debts and/or be in bankruptcy when you die. Therefore, without a will, your assets could be used to pay the debts of relatives you barely know instead of going to your loved ones.
Without a will, it is very common for multiple heirs to inherit fractional interests in a house. Disagreements between heirs over the payment of taxes, a small mortgage balance, and/or upkeep often results in someone’s home being sold at auction for a fraction of its value or abandoned because the heirs cannot agree to pay for repairs.
With a will, an executor is appointed to pay bills and keep your house and other assets in good condition. Therefore, having a will can prevent your assets from being lost and mismanaged when you are gone.
Dying without a will also means a court will choose guardians for your minor children. Having a will lets you decide who will raise and care for your minor children in your absence. A will can also be used to create trusts for your children that will prevent them from receiving their inheritance until they are responsible enough to manage their affairs.
Why Do I Need a Power of Attorney?
You are likely accustomed to performing your daily responsibilities without difficulty. However, performing these duties can become extremely challenging when you are incapacitated. Your personal life and business affairs can become unraveled over night when there is no one to attend to them during your absence. Having a power of attorney provides a backup plan that prevents your life from turning into chaos when you are incapacitated. Also, a power of attorney can be as broad or limited as you desire. Therefore, a power of attorney won’t necessarily give unlimited authority to anyone when you are not available to manage your affairs.
Why Do I Need a Living Will/Healthcare Directive?
No one likes to think about being incapacitated in the future, but unfortunately, that is a contingency we should all plan for just in case. Healthcare directives make your treatment preferences known when you are unable to express your wishes. Without a healthcare directive, your family may experience the burdens of guilt and internal conflict associated with making ethical healthcare decisions for a loved one without knowing their desires. This may result in long term conflict and emotional distress for your family members.
Healthcare directives clarify many issues including:
- Your wishes and preferences concerning medical treatment and intervention;
- Who will make medical decisions on your behalf if you are incapable of doing so;
- Religious limitations to medical treatment;
- Preferences regarding artificial means of sustaining your life; and
- Any Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) orders.
Your healthcare directive is a detailed document. These details assure your family members that they are acting in your best interest. With a clearly drafted healthcare directive, tragic circumstances are not compounded by arguments and guesswork. Your family will know for certain the type of treatment you desire.
Why Hire The Ladd Firm?
The Ladd Firm has experienced lawyers who can help you and your family when you aren’t able to do so. A will, power of attorney, or healthcare directive without a lawyer is like a plane without a pilot. We have the expertise to insure that your documents are properly drafted, legally enforceable, properly executed, and available when you need them. We make obtaining these documents affordable and convenient by offering reasonable prices and personal delivery. Please get started by requesting a questionnaire below, or call us at (251) 431-6014.