A living will, also referred to as an advance directive, is a legal document that allows you to outline how you would like your assets disbursed should anything happen to you.
Proactive estate planning is extremely important and provides a sense of security that your assets will be taken care of by the individuals who you intend to pass them on to, your heirs. Anyone over the age of 18 will benefit from planning for the future in the form of a living will and testament, which outlines how their wishes will be carried out should they die or be incapacitated.
The Specifics: Why a Living Will is Important
For people with a spouse and kids, especially young kids, a living will can mean control over the transfer of guardianship of minors. A living will can also state your wishes for the kind of medical care that you wish to have at the end of life stages. Further, a will is useful if you have a trust, which is how you store specific assets and minimize gift and estates taxes after you pass away.
One hesitation people have about creating a will is that these documents are legal and very serious. Wills aren’t set in stone, however. It is actually recommended that you review your living will on a fairly regular basis to ensure that the way in which you would like your assets to be allocated still stands.
The Benefits of Having a Lawyer Present
Legal matters can be complex, confusing, and overwhelming, which is why involving an experienced living will attorney in Tyrone can make the planning process easier. With a living will attorney present you will be guided through the stages so that you can feel confident about everything you want to be included and that your wishes will be respected.
It’s important to be very deliberate with the structure of your living trust. Bear in mind that even the assets that aren’t included in a trust can be in a pour-over will. A pour-over will lets you name a guardian for your dependents and ensures that all the assets that you intended to put in the trust are placed there and disbursed accordingly after your death.
If you have any questions that are not easily answered when drawing up a will, having a living will attorney in Tyrone can be both reassuring and serve as extra protection to the validity of your will.
If your situation is especially unusual or complicated, it is highly recommended that you consult a lawyer when drawing up your living will. With the guidance of a lawyer, your paperwork will be drawn up accurately, reflecting your wishes and ensuring that the document will hold up to any scrutiny in court.
Instances, when you should consult a living, will lawyer in Tyrone include:
- You have questions about your will or other options for leaving your property.
- You expect to leave a large amount of assets that you would like to protect against as much estate tax as possible (unless you pursue estate tax planning).
- You want conditional heirs to your property. For example, you desire to leave your property to your spouse until he or she dies, at which point, your children from a previous marriage will inherit the asset.
- You intend to disinherit your spouse. A living will lawyer can explain the rights of your spouse in a neutral setting.
- Your small business may have surviving owners or an ownership share, and you would like to know the details of how this will unfold should you pass away.
- You want to make plans for long-term care of a child who is disabled or unable to care for themselves.
- You anticipate that someone may contest your will on the grounds of fraud, claiming that you were wrongly influenced or not of sound mind when you signed it.
Having a lawyer present may not always be necessary, but peace of mind when drafting and finalizing your will is extremely valuable. A living will attorney in Tyrone who is knowledgeable about these documents will respect your wishes and seek the best way to articulate them.
You can find legal counsel to draw up a living will and protect your estate, either on its own or as part of an estate plan, right here in Tyrone. Growney, McKeown & Barber, P.A. has the expertise you need to feel confident about your plans. Call us today at (727) 384-3800 or through our form online.