Practice Areas / Estate Planning
Estate planning is the process of preserving your assets while you are alive and, upon your death, ensuring that these assets are passed on to your loved ones according to your wishes. An estate plan tailored to your specific needs will ensure that that your property is distributed seamlessly and your loved ones are protected, at the least possible cost to your estate. A common misconception is that only individuals who are wealthy need an estate plan. In reality, anyone who has children or owns property should have an estate plan. A proper estate plan will ensure that your minor children are protected and will provide you the means to designate individuals that you trust to be your child’s guardian, conservator or trustee in the event you unexpectedly become deceased.
While a simple will may be sufficient for your needs, for many individuals a revocable trust, in addition to a simple will, is preferred because an effectively drafted trust provides more flexibility, protects your privacy and can effectively prevent your estate from being tied up in probate court upon your death. A well drafted estate plan also ensures that during your lifetime YOU decide, without court intervention, who can make medical decisions on your behalf, who can manage your financial affairs and who can obtain your medical records in an emergency if there ever comes a time when you are not capable of doing these tasks for yourself.
What if you unexpectedly become temporarily or permanently disabled and are unable to discuss your own medical condition with your doctors? A well drafted power of attorney for healthcare lets your doctors and family know who to consult if ever you are unable to make medical decisions for yourself and in what circumstances, if any, you would like medical treatment withheld. What if you are hospitalized unexpectedly and the emergency room doctor needs access to your medical records that are currently on file with your family doctor? Currently, federal law prohibits health care providers from releasing your medical records to anyone other than yourself, unless you sign a health authorization release allowing them to release these records to specific individuals that you trust. A properly drafted health authorization release advises your health care providers that they can release certain medical information to trusted individuals that you designate.
What if you unexpectedly become temporarily or permanently disabled and are unable to do manage your financial affairs? A properly drafted power of attorney for finances ensures that a person you trust and designate will manage your financial affairs. Ms. Leimback will consult with you and explain the pros and cons of executing a power of attorney for finances that is effective immediately vs. a power of attorney for finances that is only effective upon your disability.
A specifically tailored estate plan drafted now provides you with the security of knowing that YOU are making these choices today at time when you are competent and have the ability to discuss your options and choose the appropriate people that you trust to be a part of your estate plan, rather than leaving these important decisions to be made by a probate judge who has never met you. The Law Office of Kelly L. Leimback offers preparation of a variety of estate planning documents to suit all your needs, including but not limited to wills, trusts, powers of attorney for finances, powers of attorney for healthcare, HIPPA releases and deeds. Ms. Leimback will consult with you and discuss your particular needs and devise an estate plan that effectively provides management of your assets in a smooth and cost effective manner.