Estate planning is nothing more than insuring that your wishes are followed either after you pass away or when you are unable to act for yourself.  If you want to decide what happens to your property when you pass away, then you should prepare a will. If you want to decide who makes decisions for you if you are unable to make decisions on your own, then a Power of Attorney and an Advanced Healthcare Directive is necessary.

Wills

You should execute a will if you want to decide how your property will be distributed after you die.  For a will to be valid, very specific rules need to be followed in preparing and executing your will.  At Hughes and Associates, we take great pride in making sure that your wishes are expressed clearly and that your will is executed properly. Some Wills fail because the language used is unclear and other wills fail because they are not executed properly.

People who have multiple marriages where the children are from earlier marriages and who want to care for your spouse without leaving your children out have unique problems we can help you address. This calls for very specific planning to insure that your wishes are followed. Other people have children who have special needs and who receive government assistance for the child.  Very specific language needs to be used to keep the child from losing his benefits.

These are but two of the special circumstances we see that need very special handling.  Whether your needs are straightforward or need special attention, we can assist you.

Power of Attorney

A financial power of attorney is a document that allows you to appoint someone else to act on your behalf if you cannot act for yourself, either because you are physically or mentally unable to handle your business.  If you find yourself in such a position, and you do not have a power of attorney, one of your family members will have to ask the probate court to appoint someone to act on your behalf.  This is expensive, time-consuming and may result in someone being appointed to handle your affairs whom you would not have chosen. A simple power of attorney eliminates this problem.

Advanced Health Care Directive

An Advanced Health Care Directive allows you to appoint someone to make medical decisions for you if you cannot act for yourself, either because you are physically or mentally unable to make medical decisions. It also allows you to give directions to someone to make those very tough “life-support” decisions that are so personal to everyone.  Some do not want to be kept on life support if there is no hope of recovery.  Others want to make sure that they stay on life support as long as possible. You also can express your desires related to organ donation, funeral plans and a few other areas of decision.  If you find yourself in such a position, and you do not have an advanced health care directive, one of your family members will have to ask the probate court to appoint someone to act on your behalf.  This is expensive, time-consuming and may result in someone being appointed to handle your end of life decisions whom you would not have chosen. An advanced health care directive eliminates this problem.