Cannon Law, P.C. offers experience you can trust in the preparation of your estate planning documents. Knowing that you have a Will, General Durable Power of Attorney, Living Will and/or Durable Healthcare Power of Attorney can give you the peace of mind that comes from having your affairs in order. Well prepared estate planning documents show how much you care about your family and also provide guidance in the event that you become seriously disabled.
Our estate planning documents are surprisingly affordable and are customized to meet your particular needs and circumstances. Our Estate Planning Attorneys will meet with you to discuss your needs and provide you with drafts of your wills and other documents so that you can review them carefully in your home prior to execution. You can trust us to give you good advice, address your concerns for the future and prepare documents that accurately reflect your wishes.
Having a valid Will allows you to choose how your assets will be distributed, choose the person who will carry out the distributions expressed in your Will and name guardians for any minor children. You may also choose to create Trusts to provide for your children until they reach a certain age. North Carolina probate is not as difficult or expensive as you may believe and a living trust is not always a substitute for a Will.
General Durable Power of Attorney
A power of attorney is a legal document giving another person (the attorneyinfact) the power to do certain things for you. Our Estate Planning Attorneys will assist you in choosing what powers you wish to give to your attorney in fact and explain the rights and responsibilities that come with a Durable Power of Attorney.
A Durable Power of Attorney continues even after you become incapacitated, but you are not required to be incapacitated to use it. You may revoke a Durable Power of Attorney and change the attorney in fact you have chosen whenever you choose. We suggest that you contact the Estate Planning Attorneys at Cannon Law, P.C. to assist you in properly revoking a Durable Power of Attorney.
Durable Health Care Power of Attorney
This document appoints someone you trust, and others that may substitute if your first choice is unable to serve, to make decisions about your medical care if you become unable to make and communicate your own decisions. Because this document is signed before you become incapacitated, it is sometimes referred to as an Advance Directive.
You may find it helpful to discuss your plans and wishes with family and/or trusted friends. It is often a great relief to both parents and children to have discussed the parents’ wishes regarding their assets and medical treatment. You may also wish to provide copies of your estate planning documents to some of the persons named in your documents so that they will be aware of the existence of the documents and familiar with their contents prior to assuming responsibility under the documents.
A Living Will is another type of Advanced Directive. It differs from a Durable Health Care Power of Attorney in that it only expresses your desire regarding future health care but does not appoint someone to make decisions about that care if you are unable to do so. A Durable Health Care Power of Attorney is more flexible than a Living Will because the person you appoint to make health care decisions can deal with unexpected situations that occur in the future.
Probate & Estate Administration
When a person dies the legal term for the entity that represents the decedent is an “Estate.” Their estate consists of all of the real and personal property the decedent owned or had an interest in when they died.
Estates can be large or small, simple or complex. The term “Estate Administration” means the process by which a qualified representative of the decedent gathers, inventories, and distributes property to the decedent’s heirs, beneficiaries and creditors according to the will (if they had one) and state law, or according to distribution rules under state law if there is no will. “Probate” is the process of establishing the validity of a will. Estate Administration is part of the “Probate” process.
If you have questions about a Will, General Durable Power of Attorney, Living Will and/or Durable Healthcare Power of Attorney, or if you need assistance with an Estate, contact us today for more information.