Comprehensive Estate Planning Services

Planning for your later years in life, as well as for what will happen to your financial assets and your close family members after you pass away is important for everyone. Planning now can mean less stress for you as you get older or suffer from a medical condition that requires you to receive care. It can also help your relatives in determining how you would want your medical, financial and other affairs to be handled.

The most common estate planning tools are a will, living will and a power of attorney. More information about each of these topics is included below. The lawyers at Tanner Law Offices, LLC, also confidently handle all aspects of the estate administration process, which unlike estate planning, occurs after a death has occurred.

Advance Directive/Living Will

When our loved ones care for us when we get older and are less able to care for ourselves, or in the event of incapacitation, they may have to make many difficult decisions on our behalf.

  • By planning ahead, you can provide them with guidance as to your wishes and desires in your final years or if there comes a time when you are unable to care for yourself.
  • An advance directive, or a living will, is a document that designates a specific individual who can make health care decisions for you in the event that you are unable to make them for yourself.
  • A living will allows you to make decisions as to what life-saving measures you do or do not want; what types of life-sustaining procedures you do or do not want should you have, for example, an incurable disease.
  • It also allows you to speak with the person who may have to make other medical decisions for you, to let them know of your wishes so that the right medical decisions are made on your behalf.

It is important to name a person whom you trust to make these decisions on your behalf and to make your wishes clearly known.

Wills

A will is an essential component of estate planning. A will enables you to direct the distribution of your financial assets after you pass away. Planning ahead for the distribution of your assets may reduce conflict between relatives, and maximize the distribution of your estate assets by keeping financial disputes out of court.

  • Even more important to some, a will allows you to designate someone, called a guardian, who will take care of your minor children in the event that you predecease them. Knowing that someone you trust will be available to care for your minor children is a great relief for most.
  • A will also provides the opportunity to set up a trust for your minor children in the event that you pass away to ensure that their financial needs will be met and that the funds that you leave for the benefit of your children will not be squandered. It is important to name a trustee that you trust to distribute these funds from the trust for the benefit of your children.

Power Of Attorney

A power of attorney is a document that allows you to name someone to take care of your financial, personal and even medical needs while you are alive.

  • The power of attorney can be so broad that the person you designate can essentially do anything that you can do from selling your house and preparing your taxes, to opening a bank account and helping you pay your bills. A power of attorney can also be very limited, and only allow, for example, the person you name to sign a very specific document on your behalf.
  • It can be very helpful to have someone that you trust be able to help you with your personal affairs as you get older, or in the event that you are unable to care for yourself at all. Because the powers can be very broad, however, it is important that you both appoint someone that you trust and that you believe will always act in your best interest, and also that you prepare a power of attorney that will only be as broad as you believe you need.
  • The power of attorney is only valid as long as you are living. Once you pass away, the power of attorney is no longer valid. The executor of your will would then be in charge of your financial affairs.

The experienced attorneys at Tanner Law Offices, LLC, are able to help you prepare a carefully drafted estate plan that meets your specific needs and concerns. To discuss your estate planning needs in detail, or to schedule a free consultation, call our firm today at 717-836-0471 or contact us online.