Living Wills

Here we are yet again. I am a paralegal not a lawyer so this is in no way to be taken as legal advice this is meant to be legal information only. Just so you know when a lawyer or a paralegal becomes involved your problem become an Issue.

Next on my list is Living Wills which is also called an advanced medical directive.  You see a Living Will is all about what you want to happen while you are still alive and can’t speak for yourself.  You see a Living Will deals with what happens to your money, your kids, to your house and most importantly how you want to be taken care of while you are mentally out of the game.  Let’s not kid around you are going to be very busy fighting for your life to take care of small things. Like what bills get paid and who is feeding your dog.

Let’s start with you are on life supports, a Living Will lets your loved ones know how your doctors can keep you attached to those god awful machines before they have let you go.  If you have advanced cancer you can limit how much your family can do to keep you alive if you have a heart attack

Or say you find certain medical treatments go against your religious beliefs, with a Living Will, on file you can prevent your doctor or some well-meaning loved one from letting those treatments being done, if you are out of it.

A Living will also get covers who you have assigned a Health Care power of attorney or more importantly a Durable power of attorney too. Power of attorney Covering who you want making medical decisions while you are out of it. Including who you want to take care of your assets and more importantly who is taking care your children.

To repeat myself, the more you have in ASSETS, CHILDREN CONCERNS AND BUSINESS OPERATIONS THE MORE YOU NEED A LAWYER.

SIDE-NOT: If you have underage children and the other parent is unable or to be polite unqualified to take them. I can’t say this loud enough you need to set up an assigned guardianship for you children set up. Otherwise your Kids could be given to the 1st blood relative to claim them or the state will get them. If the state gets them it could cost your blood relative a small fortune to get them back.

SIDE-NOTE; An Asset in the legal world is anything such as a house, car, jewelry, bank accounts or stocks and bonds. Say you have written a book and it sells fairly well. It can be anything as long as it has a money value attached to it.

Just so you know a Living Will must be witnessed by your current primary doctor and if you are fighting a possibly terminal illness it has to be co-signed by the doctor in charge   of helping you fight your illness.

Unfortunately the rules and regulations for validating Living Will can and do differ from state to state.

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As I said before and I will say yet again. I am not a lawyer, I am a Paralegal.  So this is in no way to be considered legal advice only legal information, let’s not forget when a lawyer of a paralegal becomes involved your problem becomes an ISSUE.

Just so you know are four major types of Guardianship.  There is a personal guardian who is responsible for medical and or money decisions. .  The Estate guardian which is needed to protect your stuff when you can’t.  The Personal & Estate guardian which take care of both at the same time.  Last is the temporary guardianship, this is usually an emergency court order given when someone’s  loved one suddenly becomes unable to take care of themselves. However it will cost about $60, when the loved one gets better, for the Guardian or the Guarded One to cancel it.  It also can have a limited life span.

However guardianship do need approval from probate judge especially under a Living Will or if three are children are involved. A guardianship can also be challenged by someone who wants to take over the assigned guardianship.  If the Guardianship is not challenged it usually costs about $50 to get court approval.

Okay moving onto a Power of Attorney.  1st and foremost the person you choose to be power of attorney does not have to be a lawyer.  It can be anyone you choose.

There are 5 major types of power attorney.  1st is the general power of attorney, which is mostly used when you have a business or assets you want someone  to look after a while you are traveling for a couple of years. Or say you don’t want anyone bothering you while contemplating the universe at a monastery.

Next is a Limited Power of Attorney this is almost identical to a general. Reasons of giving someone power over your assets is pretty much the same except like the title says, the power is limited to only one thing.  For example you’re traveling somewhere overseas and you are receiving benefit check from a court case you won. You can leave someone a Limited Power of Attorney so they can take the check get it cashed, pay a few bills like your rent and get the rest deposited into your bank account. That way you can get your money and spend it while having fun in Ireland.

Then there is the Health Care Power of Attorney. Say you are not married and live a long way from anyone in your family. With a Heath Care Power of Attorney you can appoint a special friend to look after you.  Your friend would be able to make the decisions’ a doctor needs to save your life after you have just been in a devastating auto accident.  It is used a lot in states that can’t seem to see same-sex couples. You need to make sure your health insurance company has a copy as well as your friend.

Next week I will cover the Springing and Durable Power of Attorney.

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Time to get back to work, I am a Paralegal not a Lawyer. So this is in no way to be construed or taken for legal advice, so as before this is only legal information. Let’s not forget that when a layer or a paralegal becomes involved your problem becomes an ISSUE.

Picking up on Probate. Probate is a legal system focused on taking care of things after you die or if you become unable to look after yourself because of a major injury. Namely it takes care of who is in charge and how someone will handle your Will and take care of your Estate after you leave or if you become injured too. Simply put, Probate Law will make sure your wishes are followed and no one is cheated.

Right now I am focused on Living Wills. Living Wills deal with what you want to happen when bad things happen to you but you are still in the land of the living.

SIDE-NOTE:  A Testamentary Will is a Will telling your loved ones what you want to happen after you leave this world.  It is a legal document filed with your lawyer, or left with a loved one. Either after you leave or while you are still living it has been validated by the Probate Courts. This will cost your Estate $190. Once again this price can varies depending on which state you in. But not by very much.

Just so you know there are several different types of Wills. Such dealing with different types of problems and situations. I will try to explain the different types later on. However if you have any concerns about which Will you may need; Please God See a Lawyer!!

In my last Probate article I talked about Conservators. Now let’s talk about Guardians. The most well-known Guardianship involves children. In such a case you have made a Testamentary Will or a regular Will. In this Will you named someone you trust to look after your children A Guardian is very similar to a Conservator, except that a guardian has limitations for example a child guardianship has to be approved by the courts.   There are several different types of Guardians in addition to child guardianship. Using the more common children guardianship as an example, you could assign someone to look after your kids and another person to look after any property or money you leave them. It depends on what part and or how much of your life you want your guardian to protect.  Under a Living Will you can appoint Cousin Fred to look after your money and only your money and with the same Living Will you can appoint your mother to look after your kids.  You can even appoint your 12 year old niece Harriet as Guardian for your beloved dog Niki.

Next week I will be talking more about Guardianship and about the Durable Power of Attorney. Just so you know you do not have to be an Attorney to have Durable Power of Attorney.