“Be Prepared” is more than the motto of the Boy Scouts of America. It provides a mental compass to help families navigate through life’s thorny thickets and dark forests. Planning for the unexpected and the unthinkable is important, and it takes years of experience to help people see the potential problems and help them find solutions that fit their particular family or individual needs.
ESTATE PLANNING AND ADVANCE DIRECTIVES
LIVING WILL: Provides a clear declaration of your desires to either have or withhold the use of heroic measures in the event that you have a terminal illness or are permanently unconscious and gives your family guidelines for making those difficult end of life decisions.
APPOINTMENT OF HEALTH CARE AGENT: In the event that your ability to make health care decisions for your own benefit is compromised by illness or masked by medications, a Health Care Agent is able to make such decisions for you and have access to your health information so that all relevant facts on which to base such decisions are at your Agent’s disposal.
LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT: The document directing the disposition of your assets upon your death. In the absence of a Will, the Connecticut laws of Intestate Succession will determine the disposition of your assets and seldom does so as you might have wished.
POWER OF ATTORNEY: One of the most useful of legal tools which provides a trusted person of your choice with a seamless ability to manage your financial affairs while you are away or are unable, for whatever reason, to manage your legal needs on your own. The Power of Attorney can be General and Durable and unlimited as to scope or strictly limited to allow your Attorney in Fact to only perform very specific and clearly described legal functions on your behalf.
TRUSTS – REVOCABLE, IRREVOCABLE, SPECIAL NEEDS, AND FOR ESTATE TAX PLANNING
Trusts are used to meet a variety of legal needs and concerns and may shelter all or a portion of your assets from Connecticut or Federal Estate taxes, provide for a loved one who has special needs, protect your assets from litigation and to make certain that the Trust assets are available for your use during your lifetime and pass according to your wishes or continue to be held in Trust for the benefit of your spouse and family after your demise.