The Icing on the Prepper’s Cake
Recently, I prepared a last will and testament, an advance directive for healthcare, and a power of attorney for an older couple. They held hands as we reviewed some of the documents. The wife had suffered some health problems, and they had been thinking about doing some planning. Now that Coronavirus is pushing the issue, they felt a measure of relief knowing that they had taken care of these matters.
In a last will and testament, a person can give instructions on how his or her estate is to be distributed, name a personal representative to be in charge of the process, and establish the level of authority that person is to have over the process. For example, a person can allow the personal representative to proceed without having to obtain a bond, file an inventory of the estate, or keep an accounting of income and expenses. The more authority the personal representative has, the less cost there will be to the estate.
An advance directive for health care allows a person to give instructions on whether or not to keep him or her on life support under certain circumstances. It also allows the person to name a person to speak with health care providers on his or her behalf.
A power of attorney allows a person to give another person the authority to handle his or her financial affairs. The person can choose to elect whether the power of attorney should become effective immediately or upon his or her becoming incapacitated. The power of attorney can also nominate persons to be appointed by the court to serve as guardian and conservator, should that become necessary. A guardian is responsible for the care of the person, subject to the supervision of the court. A conservator is responsible for the person’s finances, also subject to court supervision. Usually, the probate court may not appoint a conservator if there is a power of attorney, but circumstances could require a conservator. For example, the person having power of attorney may become unable to continue serving.
Thankfully, the vast majority of people who contract coronavirus will not suffer serious problems. For those who do, having a plan that allows others the legal authority to step in and take care of things can give real peace of mind to those who are making preparations. It’s the icing on the prepper’s cake! We are available to help you with these preparations. Call us today to discuss!