Hamilton Estate Planning

Admittedly, no one wants to think about death or disability. Nevertheless, establishing an estate plan is one of the most important steps you can take to protect yourself and your loved ones.  Estate planning not only allows you to be in charge of your finances but it also can spare your loved ones the expense, delay and frustration associated with managing your affairs when you pass away or suffer a disability. Our attorneys are prepared to assist you with these matters that you need not delay.
 
Wills & Trusts- Having a Will prepared helps you to ensure that you leave things as you desire and without question. You allow your loved ones to achieve the difficult task of moving on and you greatly reduce uncertainty that may otherwise exist.
 
Powers of Attorney, Advanced Medical Directive– If you become mentally incapacitated, you won't be able to manage your own financial affairs.  Many are under the mistaken impression that their spouse or adult children can automatically take over for them in case they become incapacitated.  The truth is that in order for others to be able to manage your finances, they must petition a court to declare you legally incompetent.  This process can be lengthy, costly, and stressful.  Even if the court appoints the person you would have chosen, they may have to come back to the court every year and show how they are spending and investing each and every penny.  If you want your family to be able to immediately take over for you, you must designate a person or persons that you trust in proper legal documents so that they will have the authority to withdraw money from your accounts, pay bills, take distributions from your IRAs, sell stocks, and refinance your home.  A will does not take effect until you die and a general power of attorney may be insufficient.
 
In addition to planning for the financial aspect of your affairs during incapacity, you should establish a plan for your medical care.  The law allows you to appoint someone you trust for example, a family member or close friend to make decisions on your behalf about medical treatment options if you lose the ability to decide for yourself.  You can do this by using a durable power of attorney for health care where you designate the person to make such decisions.  In addition to a power of attorney for heath care, you should also have a living will which informs others of your preferred medical treatments such as the use of extraordinary measures should you become permanently unconscious or terminally ill.
 
Call our office to schedule an initial consultation so that we can help you have a peace of mind.