If something happened to you today, is your family prepared?
The term "estate planning" refers to the preparation of documents that serve to manage an individual's financial situation in the event of their incapacitation or death.
Everyone over the age of 18 should have some basic estate planning documents to dictate how they want their "stuff" to be handled if something happens to them. Creating the proper estate plan can make the difference between having a say in the swift and proper handling of your affairs when you pass or having a court administer your estate over a long period of time. Whether you are a young person with growing assets in need of estate planning advice, or just a person wishing to create or update your will, the Law Offices of JL Hughes is standing by to assist you in effectively planning your estate. Estate planning is one of the most important things you can do for yourself and your family but studies show that in 2017, nearly 70% of African Americans had no will or estate plan. The Law Offices of JL Hughes wants to help change this statistic!
An effective estate plan will include a Will, a Healthcare Directive, a Power of Attorney, and in some cases, a Trust.
A Last Will and Testament is the proper way to ensure that your funds, property and personal effects will be distributed after your death according to YOUR wishes. Wills are important for younger and older people alike. Having a Will is especially important if you have young children because it gives you the opportunity to designate a guardian for them in the event of your death. Without a Last Will and Testament drafted, the COURT will appoint a guardian for your children. We can help make sure your assets go where you want and your children are taken care of.
Creating a durable power of attorney gives an agent the right to act on your behalf if you are unable to do so yourself. This legal document will be crucial if you become mentally incapacitated or otherwise rendered unable to make your decisions and handle your affairs. If you want to give someone such authority, the best way to do it is through a statutory durable power of attorney.
A health care directive, also known as a living will, gives your family direction on the medical care you want if you are unable to communicate your health care decisions yourself. We can help you appoint another person to make health care decisions, leave written instructions so that other people make decisions based or your wishes, or do both.
A living trust is a powerful estate planning tool that can help family members and beneficiaries avoid a lengthy, public, complex, and sometimes costly, probate process.
A living trust is a legal document and arrangement that is established by an individual (the grantor) during their lifetime to protect their assets and direct their distribution after the grantor's death. A living trust lays out the terms of the trust and the assets that the grantor assigns to it. A trustee is designated by the grantor as the individual (or entity) who, at a certain point, will control those assets for the benefit of the beneficiaries.
Trusts are especially helpful when small children and minors would be the beneficiaries of assets. A trust along with a will allows you to appoint who should act as guardian for any minors and can set forth who will be in charge of managing all assets for the benefit of those minors. The trust can be as detailed as the creator wants and can detail when and how any assets should be distributed to beneficiaries.
Contact us if you need any of these documents prepared.