SIMPLE ESTATE PLANNING

Wills - Although many of us would like to avoid making a Last Will and Testament, it is an essential document that helps ensure that your intentions for your family are enforceable.  Without a valid Last Will and Testament, the distribution of your estate will be left to the Surrogate's Court, often creating family turmoil and wasting the assets of the estate instead of distributing them to the intended beneficiaries.  For most of us, a simple estate plan will prevent these eventualities.  If your estate is substantial, I can refer you to attorneys whose area of concentration includes complex estate and tax planning and administration.  

Powers of Attorney - The other component to a complete estate plan is the creation of powers of attorney that appoint and authorize a designated agent to make financial decisions in your absence and medical decisions if you are completely incapacitated and terminal.  A Financial Power of Attorney can give your agent powers as narrow or as broad as you want and can limit its enforceability to a determination that you are disabled and unable to tend to your financial affairs.  A Medical Power of Attorney, often referred to as a Living Will, allows you to decide when to stop life sustaining food and medical support.  Your Living Will protects your family from having to make those difficult decisions.