Develop a plan that ensures your final wishes are accomplished. Financial accounts, real estate, and child custody preferences can all be outlined in skillfully-crafted estate planning documents.
Every person is unique and so are their estate plans. The need to have significant wealth to justify having an estate plan is a myth. There is much more to an estate plan than just what happens to assets upon death. There are many things that can happen while you are still alive that an estate plan can prepare for such as car accidents, emergency medical, temporary bill payments, and more.
We are always happy to discuss your needs to create an estate plan that will accomplish your goals when you least expect it.
A last will is a legal document that allows you to express your wishes for the distribution of your assets after your death. In Kentucky, a last will must be in writing, signed by the testator (the person making the will), and in most cases, witnessed by two people who are not beneficiaries of the last will.
A last will can be used to do the following:
If you do not have a last will, your assets will be distributed according to Kentucky state law, which may not be in line with your wishes. For example, if you are married and do not have a will, your spouse could inherit all of your assets. If you have children, your spouse could only inherit half of your assets, and the other half could be divided among your children. Every family situation is unique and without a will, it is impossible to predict into the future how your assets will be distributed at the time of your death.
It is important to update your last will regularly to reflect changes in your life, such as getting married, having children, or getting divorced. You should also review your will if you experience a major life change, such as a serious illness or financial hardship.
If you need help creating a will, we are ready and happy to assist you. We always caution clients about creating wills online or when using forms purchased from an office supply store. Kentucky law is very specific about the elements of a validly-executed will and we have seen many issues arises from do-it-yourself templates.
Be sure to store your will in a safe place, but one that is accessible when needed. We recommend that you share the location of your will with at least one person that you trust; this can be the executor or a trusted family member or friend.
If you would like to discuss creating or updating your will, we are ready and happy to assist.
A power of attorney (POA) is a legal document that gives one person the power to act on behalf of another person in certain financial and medical matters. A power of attorney can be either durable or non-durable. A durable power of attorney remains in effect even if the principal becomes incapacitated and unable to make their own decisions. A non-durable power of attorney terminates if the principal becomes incapacitated.
It is important to note that a power of attorney is not a substitute for a last will. You can read more about last wills in the paragraphs above. We can skillfully craft a power of attorney to meet your specific needs.
If you would like to discuss creating or updating your power of attorney, we are ready and happy to assist.
A living will is a legal document that outlines your wishes for medical care in the event that you become incapacitated and unable to make decisions for yourself. It is a type of advance directive, which is a document that gives instructions for your care in the event that you are unable to make decisions for yourself. It will name someone that you appoint to act as your healthcare surrogate and gives that person authority to act in your best interest, should you so choose.
A living will typically includes instructions on whether you want to be kept alive with artificial life support, such as a ventilator or feeding tube, if you are in a persistent vegetative state or have a terminal illness. You can also use a living will to express your wishes for pain management and other end-of-life care.
A living will is not a DNR (do not resuscitate) order. A DNR order tells doctors and other medical professionals not to attempt to resuscitate you if your heart stops or you stop breathing. A living will, on the other hand, addresses a broader range of medical care issues, including artificial life support, pain management, and organ donation.
If you would like discuss creating or updating your living will, we are ready and happy to assist.
A trust is a legal arrangement in which one person (trustor) gives another person (the trustee) the legal right to hold and manage assets for the benefit of a third person (the beneficiary). Trusts can be used for a variety of purposes, including estate planning, asset protection, and tax planning.
There are two main types of trusts: revocable trusts and irrevocable trusts. Revocable trusts can be changed or terminated by the trustor at any time, while irrevocable trusts cannot.
Trusts can be used to:
Here are some of the most common types of trusts:
Trusts can be a valuable tool for estate planning, asset protection, and tax planning. If you would like to discuss setting up a trust, we are ready and happy to assist.
Woods Law, PLLC
909 Wright's Summit Pkwy, Ste. 200 | Fort Wright, Kentucky 41011