Advanced Estate Planning can save your loved ones a great deal of the expense and frustration that can come with unexpected consequences of failing to do a Last Will and Testament. It can provide you with the peace of mind that comes with understanding WHAT assets are included in your estate, HOW your assets will pass, WHO they will pass to, and WHEN your beneficiaries receive those assets. As your estate planning counsel, we can help you with wills, trusts, conservatorships, advance health care directives, powers of attorney and other estate planning documents.
A Living Will states your wishes for your end-of-life care and pain management. It comes into play ONLY if your condition is deemed terminal by your doctors. It authorizes your doctors to administer pain medication to make you comfortable, and can provide more specific instructions for "No heroic measures" at the end.
A Power of Attorney appoints someone of your choosing to manage your property and sign legal papers for you. Connecticut's laws were significantly updated as of October 2016. If you signed your Power of Attorney before October 1, 2016, it is still valid, but you won't have all the protections and powers provided under the new law. One new important provision requires banks and other financial institutions to honor a Power of Attorney document, and grants new authority to the Probate Courts to compel these institutions to accept them. Connecticut law requires banks and other third parties to accept your power of attorney if it's properly acknowledged. If the bank has remaining questions, there is a written procedure that they must follow before they can reject the power of attorney. Another important update to the law allows you to give your agent the authority to deal with electronic records, online banking, emails, social media accounts, digital files and virtual currency.
An Appointment of a Health Care Representative is a written document designating another person who may make health care decisions for you if you are unable to speak for yourself.
You can also execute documents that will provide for Organ Donation or any preferences on your Funeral arrangements, such as cremation or burial in a particular location. Some people find it uncomfortable talking about these issues with family, so it can be helpful to provide written documentation of your preferences.