Have you been saying to yourself “I need a will”? You are not alone…at least once a month someone tells me they have been thinking about making sure their family is secure, and they need a will. Bellwoar Kelly LLP always recommends our clients have three things to protect themselves and their families: a will, a financial power of attorney, and a healthcare power of attorney (or advanced life directive). A will tells your survivors what to do with your worldly assets. If you don’t have a will, state law dictates how your assets are divided.
The financial power of attorney allows a trusted person to take care of your finances if you become incapacitated. Since this trusted person has control of your finances, you must be very careful in choosing who you appoint.
The healthcare power of attorney provides two things: your choices on what types of medical care should be provided for you in the event you cannot communicate your choices, and it (usually) appoints a loved one to make those decisions you have not made in the document.
When a loved one passes on, there are important questions to ask. The first is whether the deceased has a will. A will usually appoints an executor to handle all aspects of the estate. The executor is responsible for making sure the beneficiaries under the will receive all that they should receive. This includes collecting all the assets, paying all debts, determining the taxes due, and filling out all the paperwork. Many executors choose to hire an attorney to tend to the many details. Bellwoar Kelly LLP can help you if you have been appointed as the executor under a will, or if you are a beneficiary who has questions about how an estate is being administered.