New Hampshire Wills, Trusts & Powers of Attorney Lawyers
Wills & Trusts – Protect Your Legacy
What would happen in the event of your passing? Who would receive or inherit your property? These are major concerns for people of all ages. A well-drafted Last Will and Testament or Trust can help avoid stress and complications between family members after your passing. By creating an effective Will or Trust, you will have a final, legal say, in what happens to your assets after your death.Without a will, your property will be distributed according to the government-created estate plan, known as intestacy, which may not be what you want.
Without a will or trust, your property may be distributed according to the government-created estate plan, known as intestacy, which may not be what you want.
All Adults Could Benefit from a Will or Trust
Many people assume that obtaining a Will or Trust is just for the elderly or for those with a lot of money, but it is important that every adult consider having a Will or Trust prepared, especially adults with children. In a Will, you can determine who will be the guardian of your child or children after your passing. A Will or Trust will also provide for how your assets will be distributed after your death. Even if you do not have a family, it is important that you have a Will or Trust to determine what will become of your assets, including your bank accounts, vehicles, home and other assets.
Trusts Can Accomplish Other Goals Too
In addition to providing for management of assets during incapacity and distribution of assets after death, trusts can help minimize estate and transfer taxes, ensure that family properties and other legacies are preserved for future generations, and provide for management of assets for a beneficiary who is a minor, a spendthrift, has creditor problems, or is likely to get divorced. Special needs trusts or supplemental needs trusts can also preserve assets for a beneficiary with special needs or who is likely to need long term care. Trusts can also be used to structure control and management of a family business.
Powers of Attorney are Equally Important
Planning for future incapacity can be equally, if not more important, than planning for what happens after death. Key to such planning are durable powers of attorney, which come in two main varieties: the Durable General Power of Attorney, covering financial matters, and the Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care, covering health care decisions.
These are written documents that enable others to make decisions for you if you become unable to make decisions on your own. With these documents, you will be able to appoint a trusted agent or agents who can oversee and manage your affairs and make health care decisions on your behalf. Without powers of attorney in place, if you become incapacitated, someone will likely need to petition a court to obtain the power to provide these services for you, known as a guardianship.
Durable General Power of Attorney for Finances
A Durable General Power of Attorney provides authority to the person you select, known as an “agent” or “attorney-in-fact,” to exercise as much power over financial decision-making as you could if making decisions for yourself. The agent can do anything that can legally be done by you. General Powers of Attorney can also be essential to crisis Medicaid planning, allowing your agent to make arrangements for your property after you become incapacitated. Because of the power conferred by these documents and the need to tailor certain provisions to your particular situation, it is important to have the help of an experienced attorney when drafting the necessary documents.
Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care
In the event you become incapacitated, the Durable Power of Attorney for health care gives your selected agent the power to make health care decisions and inform your physician of your wishes. An experienced attorney can guide you through the consequences of the choices you must make in completing this document, helping to ensure that your wishes are carried out when you are no longer able to do so.
A living will expresses your wishes regarding whether you desire life-sustaining treatment in the event you are incapacitated and near death or in a permanently unconscious state.
In New Hampshire, the Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care and Living Will are part of a single document known as an Advance Directive.
Working with Shaheen & Gordon, P.A.
The lawyers at Shaheen & Gordon, P.A. can work with you to prepare an estate plan that carries out your wishes, from the simplest to the most complex.
After you complete these documents, you can work with our team of dedicated attorneys to ensure that your documents stay up to date. If you have never prepared a will, trust, or power of attorney – or you have become married, divorced, or had children since last doing so – it is important that you create or update your documents to protect your rights and those of your loved ones.
If you are interested in speaking with an attorney about a will, trust, power of attorney or other documents, contact Shaheen & Gordon, P.A. today or call 603-635-4099 and schedule a consultation with one of our lawyers.
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