Estate Planning Attorney in Fairfield County, CT
An estate plan is more than just a Last Will and Testament, although that document is certainly critically important. Estate plans also include documents such as a living will, designation of conservator and a durable power of attorney. Each of these documents play in important part in the estate planning matrix.
Many people associate the words "estate planning" with their retired parents or grandparents, always assuming that they can draft one later. This, however, is not always the truth. Life is always changing and even young individuals and couples should take into consideration that, in a split second, accidents and life changing circumstances can alter their family's situation.
At Bayer & Black, P.C., we recommend that as a preventative measure, all individuals—young and old alike—consider putting an estate plan in place.
Last Will and Testament
This document is the centerpiece of an estate plan. It distributes your personal and real property to your named beneficiaries, allows for the payment of debts, tells the court and the world whom you want as the Guardian of your minor child or children, trustees for testamentary trusts, including trusts to protect your children's assets, and your choice as executor or personal representative.
Health Care Directives and Living Wills
Many people believe a health care directive is the same thing as a living will when in fact there are critical differences between the two. A health care directive is a fundamental and essential part of an estate plan. It appoints an individual or individuals to make health care decisions for you in the event you are unable to make them for yourself.
These decisions are not limited to "end-of-life" decisions. It can include decisions which are necessary when you are under the influence of anesthesia, medication, or otherwise temporarily or permanently incapable of making rational decisions on your own behalf. A living will expresses your wishes in circumstances where your demise is imminent and certain. We will help explain to the differences between the two documents to make sure that your wishes are effective and carried out.
Durable Power of Attorney
A durable power of attorney is a document which appoints someone to act on your behalf with regard to financial matters, even after you suffer a disability. The power of attorney is an effective part of your estate plan in that it allows someone to quickly access your assets in the event you are disabled and your responsibilities need to be fulfilled. The power of attorney is a broad and sweeping document so it is important you understand the ramifications of signing such a document.
Designation of Conservator
Alzheimer's, dementia, and traumatic brain injury can impact anyone. If you or a loved one needs help taking care of finances or healthcare needs, it may be necessary to have the Probate Court appoint a Conservator to act on your behalf.
A conservator has many of the same powers delegated under a durable power of attorney and health care directives but is the preferred course of action when dealing with a long term situation. A Designation of Conservator allows you to choose who is the proper person to manage your affairs in the event you are unable to do so yourself instead of leaving that decision to the discretion
Trusts can be used for many different purposes; they can be used to avoid probate, restrict the use of assets by minors or other persons, to reduce or even avoid federal and state estate taxes, or to assist in the day-to-day handling of financial affairs for those who are suffering from a disability. At Bayer & Black, P.C. we are experienced in determining whether you could benefit by implementing either a revocable or irrevocable trust and ensuring those documents comply with Connecticut law.
Contact Bayer & Black, P.C. Today
Are you considering drafting a will or trust? Now is the time to retain trusted representation. The sooner you draft these documents, the sooner you can retain the peace of mind in knowing that you future, family, and property will be looked after in the event of your passing. If you have questions or concerns, contact Bayer & Black, P.C. today to schedule a free case evaluation. We have over 40 years' combined legal experience, and our team may be able to assist you in drafting a will or trust that fits your needs, circumstances in a short amount of time.