Power of Attorney

Special Considerations for Women When Estate Planning

American women live on average 4.8 years longer than American men.Because women typically outlive their spouses, their estate planning documents are usually the ones that actually determine what happens to the family assets. However, the longer life span of women also means that women are more likely to experience a period of time at the end of their lives when they are unable to make their own decisions because they are incapacitated due to some medical condition.

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Is Court-Appointed Guardianship or Conservatorship in Your Future?

If you are an adult in Idaho and become unable to make your own decisions in life due to injury, illness, or some other form of incapacity, there are two basic ways in which another person becomes the stand-in decision maker for you. The first way is through the use of a previously written and signed Power of Attorney Document in which you will have stated who it is that should make your decisions for you if you cannot do so. That stand-in decision maker is called your “Agent” or your “Attorney in Fact.” However, if you have not previously completed valid Power of Attorney documents, a judge will need to appoint someone to become your decision maker through a court process known as Guardianship and Conservatorship. If a judge has to appoint your stand-in decision maker, that person will be called your “guardian” and/or “conservator.”

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How Important is Estate Planning if You Aren’t Rich?

I’m often asked if a person needs a Power of Attorney document if that person already has a Last Will and Testament (“Will”). It is a good question. The simple answer for almost everyone is yes – you should have both a Will and a Power of Attorney document. Let’s look at what purpose each serve and why both are necessary.

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Follow These 4 Steps to Assess Your Own Estate Planning Documents

Estate planning consist primarily in putting into place those legal documents that each of us need to deal with what happens if we become incapacitated and what happens when we die. If you have estate planning documents in place and have any doubt about whether those documents are complete or up to date, the best thing you could do is bring them to an estate planning attorney to review and discuss with you. Some law firms, like mine, may do this for you without charge as a complimentary consultation. Getting an expert’s advice on the status of your documents is very valuable.

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How Often Should You Review Your Estate Planning Documents?

A question I regularly hear regarding all types of estate planning documents is “how often should this be updated?” The answer depends, of course, on the individual circumstances. However, there are some general guidelines that can be helpful. Two questions to think about regarding updating your legal documents include – have there been any major life events since the documents were last updated, and have you looked through the documents in the past 2 years?

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How to Avoid the Need for a Court Appointed Guardian or Conservator

 

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If you are an adult in Idaho and become unable to make your own decisions in life due to injury, illness, or some other form of incapacity, there are two basic ways in which another person becomes the stand-in decision maker for you. The first way is through the use of a previously written and signed Power of Attorney Document in which you will have stated who it is that should make your decisions for you if you cannot do so. That stand-in decision maker is called your “Agent” or your “Attorney in Fact.” However, if you have not previously completed valid Power of Attorney documents, a judge will need to appoint someone to become your decision maker through a court process known as Guardianship and Conservatorship. If a judge has to appoint your stand-in decision maker, that person will be called your “guardian” and/or “conservator.” 

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How Wealthy Do You Need to be Before Setting Up an Estate Plan?

 

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One of the most common reasons that people believe that they do not need to prepare an estate plan is because they are not wealthy. However, for most adults, it is important to have a Last Will and Testament or a Living Trust (used to avoid probate), Financial and Health Care Powers of Attorney, and Advanced Directive documents, regardless of your net worth. Let’s look at just one of those important documents, a Last Will and Testament, to understand why it is important to have one.

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The Difference Between a Power of Attorney Document and a Last Will & Testament

 

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I’m often asked if a person needs a Power of Attorney document if that person already has a Last Will and Testament (“Will”). It is a good question. The simple answer for almost everyone is yes – you should have both a Will and a Power of Attorney document. Let’s look at what purpose each serve and why both are necessary. 

Read More