Power of Attorney vs. Wills
Though most people have a general idea of what a will is, roughly half of all Americans do not have a will. Wills are incredibly important documents for protecting you and your family. They may protect and distribute property, allocate debt, and name guardians for any children left behind. Regardless of how much or how little money you have, it is important to outline these considerations in a will so that your wishes are clear. Without a will, these issues are dealt with by the courts, and your family may be left in a stressful and confusing legal situation.
While a will most commonly comes into play after a person has died, the power of attorney may be important while a person is still alive, but significantly impaired. Power of attorney is a directive used to assign certain legal rights to another individual when a person is not capable if making their own decisions. The power of attorney is permitted to make bank transactions, receive social security checks, and write checks to pay bills on behalf of the incapacitated individual. Related to the power of attorney are advanced medical directives, which designate one’s desire for future medical treatment, including preferences regarding life support and resuscitation.
Unfortunately, at some point many lose the mental capacity to draft a will or designate a power of attorney. Because a situation may change in the blink of an eye, we recommend that everyone create a will and establish a power of attorney before the need arises. If someone in your family is getting older or has recently fallen ill, it may be time to protect them.
How to Get a Will
Enlisting an attorney to help draft your will is invaluable, as attorneys’ knowledge in the Trust and Estates area may help clients avoid future disputes. At the Reid Law Firm, we can help you draft a will specific to your needs. We draft wills that are easy for clients to understand and very clear so that there is little likelihood of a challenge. We recognize that it’s important to include unpredictable life events in wills, like the birth of prospective children. Additionally, for any client who purchases our will services, we will draft a medical directive and establish power of attorney for free.