What is an Evolving Estate Plan or EEP?
What is important to you now, may not be in 15 years. For example, if you have young children or children in college, your estate plan will reflect how you take care of your children now but as they grow and have children of their own, your estate plan of course may include grandchildren and perhaps changes in insurance plans are appropriate based on your retirement and new life. Thus, our lives are always changing and your estate plan should too so for that reason, we offer one time fee plans to assist you and give you the freedom to know if you need to change a document, you can at no additional cost. Our plans are unique and only offered to our customers. Very few law firms, if any, offer these new evolving estate plans, as office does since we have been serving our community for over 25 years.
How can I protect my family now while confined from home? What should I be doing to get my legal affairs in order in the event of a tragic event?
During these times of Covid 19, we are all forced to face our fears of becoming sick and possibly dying. We are all confined to being home and having more time to think about what is important and what should we do to protect our families not only from the virus but a tragic event that can occur so quickly leaving us no time to do what we need to do.
First, make a list of all you assets with information such as accounts and financial institution contact information to make it easier on your family. That list should include all investments and insurance policies - something that cannot be easily attained unless your loved one’s know where to look or who to contact.
Besides your Last Will and Testament, some very important documents are your health care proxy and power of attorney. These documents are needed while you are alive and if you are sick!
What is a health care proxy?
A health care proxy document allows you to appoint the person who will make your health care decisions when you are unable to. Even if you are married, you need this document. If something should happen to you and your spouse at the same time, who will make the decisions? This document will allow you to state that you chose as your agent who and in what order so you can chose your spouse, and then appoint a second choice and third choice.Many times families travel together so its important to also chose someone who is outside that immediate group also.
What is a power of attorney?
The power of attorney is a legal document that allows you to chose who will stand in “your shoes,” when you are unable to actively participate. This document may be more important then your Will in some cases because it allows your loved ones to take care of your financial and legal affairs when you are unable to due to times when you are unable to because of physical or mental ailments. With a POA,your spouse can obtain information from third parties that s/he would not be legally able to such as information from health insurance companies or banking financial institutions.
Have you ever tried to call the health insurance company to get pre-certified or information about your spouse’s insurance or take money out of your spouse’s account to pay their bills ?
The insurance company can only give you a limited amount of information unless you have authorization to speak with them. The power of attorney will allow you to do that and many other things such as pay bills, transfer assets, take money out of an account. You can only execute these documents while you are of sound mind.This document and others, will ease your anxieties knowing that your affairs are in order and your family is protected.
Next, Why is it important to speak with an estate planning administration and probate attorney?
It does not hurt to prepare and have your affairs in order now. This will at least be done and the best part is it is a one time fee.Why is that important? It is important because after this health crisis passes and time passes, our children grow, the estate plan that you have created now may not be appropriate in 7-10 years. After a life changing event or a substantial amount of time passes, you should always revise your plan to make sure it will affect what you want at the present time on your life.Our office will make the appropriate changes for you and execute the new documents to reflect your evolving estate plan at no additional charges.
Everyone should have an estate plan and the documents in place even if there is no immediate threat or crisis and the time to prepare is now. Our staff and attorney are all available to speak with you, answer your questions, provide you with information and guidance to get this done now. Best of all there is no need to leave the safety of your home as we are doing this all remotely such as by phone, by mail, by fax and by video conferencing.
Law Office of Bonnie Lawston, PC
1841 New York Avenue
Huntington Station, NY 11746