Planning for the future can be intimidating and difficult, but it is something that everyone should do, regardless of the amount of assets or income one has. The attorneys of Leu & Peirce will provide compassionate assistance and advice in determining the type of legal documents you need to ensure that your wishes are carried out if you are no longer able to act for yourself.
Estate planning typically involves some or all of the following documents:
The primary purpose of a Will is to declare your intentions regarding the distribution of your property after your death. The type of Will that you need and the way in which your property should be distributed depend upon your particular circumstances and desires. We can help ensure that your desires are reflected properly.
Durable Power of Attorney
A durable power of attorney is used to appoint an agent to act in your place regarding financial transactions. Texas law regarding durable powers of attorney changed in 1993, so if you signed one prior to 1993, you may need a new one that complies with current law.
Medical Power of Attorney
A medical power of attorney enables another person to make health care decisions that you would otherwise make, if you were able. A doctor must declare you to be incapacitated before this authority becomes effective.
Directive to Physicians (Living Will)
A living will provides direction regarding your desires to administer, withhold, or withdraw life-sustaining treatment if you have an irreversible or terminal condition.
Authorization for Release of Medical Information
In 2003, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) took effect. HIPAA contains medical privacy rules that restrict disclosure of certain health information by health care providers and plans. A HIPAA Authorization will allow the individuals that you specify to have access to your health information so they can assist in decisions that may need to be made regarding your care.
Declaration of Guardian
In the event that your durable power of attorney or medical power of attorney is not effective, you can further protect your interests by declaring the individuals that you would like to be appointed as guardian over you and your estate (as well as individuals who should not be appointed).
Additionally, instruments such as living trusts may be appropriate. Lori will take the time to focus on the details necessary to ensure that all of your concerns are addressed in your estate planning documents.
Do you have questions or comments? Contact us!