“I have a will. I am covered.”
If this seems like something you would say, you probably are not aware that you are not covered for 80% of the life events that you need to be. Yes, a will is important. But you are far more likely to have another kind of issue that a will does not address.
In this article we will walk you through four other documents you need to protect yourself, protect your family and minimize the costs and hassles that can be experienced by your loved ones in the event that you have a medical emergency or become incapacitated.
As you read this, do not feel overwhelmed. There are attorneys who specialize in setting these all up for you and are very experienced in making sure there are no gaps or errors. In the greater Akron area, call Boone Legal at (330) 968-6003 for help with these.
Here is the list of must-haves to protect yourself and your family:
- Yes. An actual Will is important for distributing your assets according to your wishes. If you do not have a properly made Will that clearly states where or who your assets should go to, the State of Ohio makes a plan for you, which may or may not comply with your wishes. It is also important to note that even if you have a Will, you will most likely still need to probate the Will when you die, which is an expensive and time consuming process. The only way to avoid probate is through the use of advanced estate planning techniques that are best discussed with an attorney. Call Boone Legal at (330) 968-6003 to discuss these advanced techniques so that your assets pass to your loved in the way that you desire.
- A Financial Power of Attorney (also called a Durable Power of Attorney)– This is very likely to be needed in the event that you become unable to make financial transactions for yourself. This gives someone you trust the authority to complete financial transactions on your behalf. This can include renewing car tags, filing taxes, paying bills, etc.
- Living Will – This is needed to specify your wishes in situations of medical treatment in which you are no longer able to express informed consent to a doctor. Often referred to as the “pull the plug” document, a Living Wills names an agent to speak on your behalf should you be unable to make life ending decisions for yourself.
- Health Care Power of Attorney- Similar to a Living Will, a Health Care Power of Attorney names an agent to give informed consent to medical treatment should you be unable to express consent yourself. A Health Care Power of Attorney grants a broader scope of authority than a Living Will and in Ohio, it is customary to have both a Living Will and a Health Care Power of Attorney in place.
- HIPPA Release – This gives someone else authority to access your medical records and find out information regarding your health. Without this, your family may be left in the dark if you are experiencing medical issues.
Many families need an additional document in place called a Trust, which allows for more privacy, flexibility and if properly drafted and funded, can even be used to protect and preserves assets for heirs. Even if you think your means are modest, a trust can help facilitate the transfer of assets and reduce the costs and losses of those assets.
Failure to have any of these can result in considerable loss of money, or time, or both. With a little advanced planning you can make sure no matter what the emergency is, your family can have the resources and access they need to make good decisions on your behalf and minimize the expense and frustration when you pass.
Boone Legal helps Northeast Ohio residents plan for all these things and have greater piece of mind for their own well-being and for their family’s future security. Call (330) 968-6003 or visit https://www.boonelegal.com to find out more.