Ellicott City Wills & Power of Attorney Lawyer
Every estate plan needs a will at the very least, though only 42 percent of American adults have one according to a survey by Caring. Including a power of attorney, in addition to a will, provides you and your loved ones with even more security. We understand that estate planning is a tough process to undertake, but it should never be delayed. Regardless of age and health, estate planning is something that everyone needs to do, and the Ellicott City Wills & Power of Attorney lawyers here at Weinberg & Schwartz, L.L.C. can help you get started or revise an existing will or estate plan to better reflect your current set of circumstances.
Simple Will or Last Will and Testament
A will, which is often referred to as a simple will or last will and testament, is a legal document used to direct the assets of one’s estate upon death. Assets include real property, bank account funds, retirement funds, personal belongings, family heirlooms, debt, coin collections, automobiles, and more. In order for your will to be carried out, you need to name a personal representative, who is usually a trusted family member, spouse, or very close friend. The personal representative’s job is to pay debts and taxes, and distribute assets to named beneficiaries once the will passes through probate. If you do not create a will, and have no trusts set up to distribute assets, or your will is deemed invalid, your assets will be distributed by the State as per Maryland law.
Power of Attorney
Power of attorney is used when a party becomes incapacitated, such as suffering a serious stroke after which the individual cannot make decisions for themselves. There are two types of power of attorney: medical and durable. A durable power of attorney is a legal document that allows a trusted person to make financial decisions on behalf of the incapacitated person. These decisions include selling and managing real estate, filing taxes, managing business assets, and more. A medical power of attorney appoints a trusted person, who is given power of attorney, to handle medical decisions, including end of life decisions, should the individual become incapacitated.
A living will, which is also called an advance medical directive, is similar to a medical power of attorney in that it is used to make healthcare and end of life decisions for the individual when they become incapacitated, except a living will is simply a written document that provides instructions. It does not give any one person the power to make decisions on behalf of the incapacitated person. A living will should include specific instructions about how to handle decisions about terminally illness, permanent unconsciousness, and end of life medical practices such as tube feeding, resuscitation, and ventilation.
Contact an Ellicott City Wills and Power of Attorney Lawyer Today
Only a third of American adults have either a living will or medical power of attorney, according to PAIR. Too few people are providing their loved ones with clear direction should the unthinkable happen. By creating an estate plan, you are taking out the anxiety-inducing guessing that your loved ones would have to do otherwise. It can be a great burden not knowing what a loved one’s last wishes are, and estate planning helps ease that burden. Call the Ellicott City wills and power of attorney lawyers at Weinberg & Schwartz, L.L.C. today at 410-997-0203 to get started.