The national news has been filled with tragedy lately, including acts of senseless violence committed against random strangers. Families and communities across the nation are mourning the loss of their loved ones and doing what they can to help those around them. Those that are tasked to protect us, heal us, and help us are stretched thin and are facing long, hard days ahead. While most people are wondering if similar tragic events could ever happen in their own towns, will and trust lawyers are constantly aware that it just might. Every day, we talk to clients about death and help them make sure that their wishes are carried out. It's a tough conversation to have, but we strive to help our clients face their fears in an open, honest, and empowering way.
We all like to think that we have many years ahead of us, that we'll get to live a long and happy life and grow old with our loved ones. The reality is that tragedy can strike at any moment, whether it's a terminal illness, an unexpected car accident, or an act of violence in a public place. If your line of work puts you out and about in the face of danger or in harms way, this is the time to ensure you have what you need in place to protect the ones you love.
While we can't control the future, we can plan for it. By simply creating an estate plan, you can ensure that your family is protected in case of a tragedy and make life as easy as possible for them during a difficult time. For parents, one of the most important pieces of your estate planning involves deciding who will care for your children if you are killed or incapacitated. Naming someone in your will can keep your children from ending up in the care of social services and letting a judge decide who will raise them.
All adults, whether you're single or married, whether you're a parent or not, can set up a Power of Attorney which would allow someone else to manage your financial affairs if you're temporarily or permanently incapacitated. Even if your spouse already has access to your accounts, having a Power of Attorney on file can help prevent any obstacles they may encounter in your absence due to privacy laws.
Having a Healthcare Directive can also keep your family from having to cut through any proverbial red tape when it comes to making medical decisions on your behalf. While HIPAA laws may keep them from having access to your medical records or communicating with doctors, a Healthcare Directive would give them that authority. Otherwise, they could be facing an expensive and time-consuming court process to obtain permission.
If you've been putting off estate planning because you don't think you need it or it's too uncomfortable to think about, we can help. We're here to make sure you have all the appropriate documents in place, and we aim to make the process as easy and comfortable as possible. If you'd like to get started, simply call our team at Grunden Law Office at 260-969-1177 to schedule a consultation.