Many people have asked “what is estate planning?” Put simply, we help protect the people and “stuff” that’s important to you.
At the most basic level, it includes protecting you! If you are over the age of 18 you should have documents in place to protect yourself, whether you have zero dollars or one million dollars.
We help you exercise your right to appoint someone you trust to make medical and financial decisions for you if you are alive but can’t make decisions on your own for any reason.
I know, it will never happen to you, right? You will live forever and you will never get sick or injured in a way that will prevent you from managing your finances or making medical decisions. Sadly, crazy things can and do happen to young people – just scroll through your Facebook feed.
Seriously, think about it. Imagine that you are alive but you’re knocked out in the hospital for a few weeks. Who would pay your mortgage, rent, or utilities? Who can access your bank accounts, online or in person, to use money to pay these bills? Don’t just assume a spouse or parent can access these accounts because that assumption may not be correct.
In addition to finances, who is in charge of making medical decisions for you? Your spouse? Your parent? Can this person access all of your medical information? What happens if your family members start fighting over what medical procedures should be done to help care for you? Who gets the final say?
Most importantly, don’t you get a say in all of this? Shouldn’t you get to choose who makes these important life decisions about you and shouldn’t that person follow your specific wishes?
The answer is yes, you do get a say if you properly plan and have legal documents. You have the power to choose who you want to make decisions for you if you’re alive but cannot make decisions yourself. You have the power to make advance decisions so that your wishes are known.
Wouldn’t you rather choose a person you trust to make financial and medical decisions for you than have someone appointed to make these decisions for you? The problem is that if you don’t proactively choose, and you are incapable of making these decisions, it may be the only way decisions can be made is by involving a Probate Court to appoint someone to make these decisions for you. The person the Court appoints may not be the same person you would have chosen had you exercised your right to choose.
If you’re over the age of 18 these are adult decisions you need to make right now. We’ve made it easy for you to take the first steps toward taking control of your financial and medical decisions. Simply answer these ten questions and we’ll contact you to help you finalize your wishes. Complete here!
If you’re a DIY type person we’re happy to meet with you over Skype or Hangouts and then give you instructions for signing the forms on your own time, without having to come in to our office. If you have questions and like face-to-face time, or just want to come chat with us and check out the office, we’re happy to meet with you and execute the documents with you.
One last thing – if you’re wondering if you can find a free “fill in the blank” template online that you can edit, the honest answer is yes, those templates are available…but is using a template wise? We’re talking about a legal document that must be tailored to your finances and circumstances, properly drafted and properly signed to control your important financial and medical decisions! We’ve spent countless hours carefully crafting our documents so that they not only comply with the State of Connecticut but they also cover decisions and topics that most templates don’t include. Our recommendation is to do it right, use an attorney who regularly practices in this area of law, and protect what’s important to you.
The obligatory legal disclaimer: Filling out this information sheet does NOT establish an attorney-client relationship. An attorney-client relationship will ONLY be formed after you decide you want to engage us and we want to work with you – which will require that both of us sign a letter that our office will prepare. The information in this post is not legal advice. You should not rely on this information and you should always seek the advice of a competent attorney in your state who will tailor legal advice to your particular facts and circumstances.