Wills & Trusts
Ensuring you have a well-crafted will or trust is an important aspect of planning for your family’s future. Whether you need to draft the document for the first time, amend what you have, or expand it to include new beneficiaries, our firm’s preparation attorney is here to help. We are able to walk you through the various procedures and ramifications of your choices in documents.
A will is where you can name your final beneficiaries for some of your property, name your executor, and name guardians for your children. A will is not the place to leave funeral instructions, put restrictions on gifts, or release property held in a living trust, retirement plan, or life insurance policy. If you want to accomplish those tasks, you can consult with one of the attorneys in our office to direct you to those forms.
What a Will Addresses
- Who will administer your estate (be your executor) after your passing
- What property you own, and who you would like that property to go to
- Who will serve as guardian for any minor children you may have
- Determining who should and should not be a beneficiary of your estate
This legal arrangement is a form of managing your estate. One entity (trustee) will hold certain assets for the benefit of the other entity (beneficiary) within a written document. Assets in a trust help avoid the time consuming and costly factors that go into probate. The process of a trust will not only cost less than probate, but it will be more efficient in transferring titles to the desired beneficiary.
How to know if a trust is right for you
The benefit of a trust over a will is that a trust is put in the hands of the trustee, who you choose to execute your wishes, as opposed to a publicly-read will, which is carried out by a court and has the potential for dispute. The four components are:
- The grantor, or trust-maker
- The trustee, who manages and executes the trust
- The beneficiary, or receiving person or party
- The corpus, or assets within the trust
Power of Attorney
A Power of Attorney gives legal authority to another person, this can be an attorney or agent. Once a person, in this case, the “Principal” has signed a Power of Attorney, then that attorney or agent can make their financial or property decisions in their place.
Depending on the level of authority given to the attorney or agent, they are able to aid in legal transactions that the Principal is unable to be present in. There are also various types of powers of attorney such as:
- Health Care
A nondurable power of attorney is associated with specific transactions like handling property or financial affairs while the Principal is not present. This action is immediate and remains in effect until it is revoked or the person becomes mentally incompetent. A nondurable power of attorney cannot act on your behalf if you become disabled or mentally incompetent.
Conversely, a durable power of attorney enables an attorney or agent to continue making legal decisions on behalf on the Principal, no matter their health condition.
For specific future events, a springing power of attorney will only become effective at the time chosen by the power of attorney. This could be in the event of a sudden illness or disability that the Principal experiences.
This document allows for someone to speak in place when the Principal is unable to so. It is important to note that this document has no effect if the patient can communicate and can be revoked at any point in time. For the benefit of the patient, it is important to choose a reliable person to carry out their wishes.
At SPH Law Group, we understand that deciding which Power of Attorney is best for you can be stressful. Consult with one of our lawyers to help guide you towards the best option possible.
In general, an advance directive is a legal document that outlines your financial and healthcare decisions in the event that you are unable to make them in the future. Advance directives can include any of the following to aid in this process:
- Power of Attorney
- Living Will
- Health Care Agent
If you are considering an advance directive, discuss your future plans with loved ones so they are prepared as well. When creating an advanced directive, our attorneys at SPH Law Group will ensure all your financial and healthcare wishes are taken care of and legally recorded. As your life changes, the provisions in your advance directive may also change. For this reason, it is important to have an experienced attorney alongside you in the event you need to modify this document. Regardless of unexpected circumstances, you have the power to take charge of your life and give not only yourself the confidence to move forward but your loved ones as well.
Your Trusted Resource
Wills & Trusts are valid documents for protecting yourself, your estate, and future beneficiaries. To avoid probate, the best option for defense is working with one of our top-quality Wills & Trusts attorneys. Shears Powell and Hanner can ensure that your future wishes are in the right hands. If there are any significant martial or child changes during the process we would be right there to help you.