“What is a living will?”

A “living will”, or medical power-of-attorney, is a document which names someone you know and trust as the person who will make decisions about your medical treatment in the event you are unable to do so due to a disability that renders you unable to communicate with your physicians. The living will can also tell your designated appointee what your desires are regarding the use of life-support machines, experimental treatments and other life-sustaining medical procedures which you may or may not desire to use. Any decision to continue or end such life-sustaining treatment can be made by your designee with greater comfort with the knowledge of your personal desires.

“What is a power-of-attorney?”

A power-of-attorney designates a person to make decisions about and conduct your business related to your day-to-day affairs in the event you are not able to do so due to disability, illness or absence. A power-of-attorney can be general, meaning the person you designate can conduct any business which you could conduct yourself, or limited to a specific event such as closing on a house purchase while you are out of town. More importantly, a power-of-attorney can be used to name someone to conduct your affairs during your life in the event you are unable to due to a disability such as dementia, paralysis following a stroke or some other condition that leaves you unable to manage your own affairs. A power-of-attorney can be designed to only give your designated person control of your affairs after you become disabled but the power-of-attorney document must be signed and in place before you become disabled.

Last Will and Estate Planning

Who will get your home, car and other valuable belongings after your death? Who will be in charge of making sure your desires are followed? Who will have control of the money you have put away for your grandchildren? What is the federal estate tax and how will it affect your property? All these questions and more can be answered through the proper use of a Last Will and other estate planning techniques. Depending on the size of your estate and the types of property/assets you own, there are a variety of estate planning techniques which can be used to make the distribution of your estate as hassle-free as possible.

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