Planning 101: Intro to the Will, Power of Attorney, and the Living Will

Planning for the future is hard enough, but many in Central Kentucky haven’t yet considered all the planning tools available.  As we watch high school and college graduates cross the stage and family after family pose for picture, you should ask, has even one of them thought about their planning?  What happens if mom or dad is in the hospital and can’t make medical decisions.  That is where all our planning tools come in to place, which will help everyone live with the peace of mind needed to fully enjoy family events.

Will

A will is an instruction book for your stuff when you die.  Such a simple explanation for a complex legal document.  Every state requires different things from a will, so it is important that if you live in Kentucky, you plan in Kentucky.  If you currently have a will, that’s wonderful.  You are one step closer to having recommended planning documents in place.  Contact a Central Kentucky elder law attorney to make sure that your current will is in compliance with the law.

Many times those in Central Kentucky create a will and just don’t get around to updating the documents.  Kentucky Elder Law attorneys recommend you update your planning documents with each big life change.  This means if you have a birth, death, marriage, divorce, adoption, or other big life event, we recommend you update your will. Keeping the documents up to day is important because you may have planned for the guardianship of one child but welcomed a second baby into the family.  Or the guardian you had in place for one of the children has moved out of town and you need to update it.  A Kentucky elder law attorney will be able to examine your current document and recommend updates or changes based on your specific situation.

Don’t have a will yet?  Now is the perfect time to start planning.  Depending on what your assets look like you may be able to get a basic will to help your family plan for the future.  Many families in Central Kentucky don’t have a document in place to protect their assets should someone pass.  Having a will document is important not only for you, but as a gift to the generations that follow.  Proper planning relieves family members from guessing at your last wishes.

 

Power of Attorney

Should you find yourself incapacitated for any reason other than death, the Power of Attorney will come into play.  The Document is executed when you have the capacity to sign the document, and allows for someone to step into your shoes in the capacity outlined in the Power of Attorney.  Many clients want very specific Power of Attorney wording that allows limited control.  Each client has different needs and the documents are not one size fits all.  It is important to talk with your Central Kentucky elder law attorney about your specific planning needs.

Living Will

In Kentucky, living wills are also known as Health Care Directives.  The document helps direct your loved ones should medical decisions need to be made on your behalf.  Where the Power of Attorney document allows someone to step in and make legal decisions, the living will grants someone the power to make medical decisions.  It is important here to remember that you get to pick who has the right to make that decision for you.  When you sign your living will, that is your declaration that only the person, or people, listed can make medical decisions for you.  If you or anyone you know wants to plan for their future, please contact an elder law attorney today.

Elder law attorneys help you plan so you can live your life with peace of mind.  With estate planning documents in place, your children and grandchildren will better understand your wishes.  Contact the A.M. Brown Law Office today to learn if these planning instruments are right for you and fit your needs.  Elder law isn’t a one size fits all field, so an in office consultation is recommended. Call today at 859-359-6370 or contact us here using our online form.