Mississippi Estate Planning Law Firm Answers Your Questions
Insight into how you can create a plan for the future that protects your legacy
Estate planning is one of those things that not many people are eager to talk about, but once the process is complete, they feel so much better about the future. Below, we answer some questions you might have about the process and explain how creating a sound estate plan can ensure a more secure future for you and your heirs.
- Do I really need an estate plan?
- What value can a lawyer add to creating an estate plan?
- What is an advance healthcare directive?
- Do I need a guardianship or conservatorship?
If you are not wealthy, you might think you don’t really need an estate plan, but that is not true. If you have assets, property, a business and minor children who rely on you, then an estate plan is essential. If your estate is not large, you might need a simple trust that directs how your assets will be distributed after you are gone. Sometimes, when people are in the prime of their lives, they think that they can put off creating an estate plan, but if they knew how simple it is, and how much peace of mind having a plan affords, they might not continue to put it off.
You have no doubt seen websites with boilerplate estate planning documents that allow you to fill in the blanks and get the forms notarized. However, what you do not get with those do-it-yourself kits and forms is the advice and counsel of an experienced estate planning attorney who has a broader perspective on your circumstances. Your attorney can advise you on the consequences of one planning strategy over another and of the long-term consequences of your choices. Your lawyer can draft customized documents for wills, trusts and other planning instruments to help you avoid mistakes that occur when you are not aware of all your options. Working with an attorney in Mississippi to plan your estate saves you time, helps you avoid mistakes and gives you the benefit of years of experience.
Also referred to as a living trust, an advance healthcare directive is a document you can draft while you are healthy that expresses your wishes about the kinds of treatments, medications and procedures you want or don’t want in the event you are unable to communicate your wishes. You can also use this document to appoint a representative or healthcare proxy. This gives a person you name power of attorney for healthcare. This individual is someone you trust to communicate your wishes and advocate for your interests when you cannot speak for yourself. You can also designate your preferred primary care physician using an advance healthcare directive.
Guardianship is the legally supervised process of an adult taking responsibility for the care of another adult. When people become unable to care for and make decisions for themselves, a guardian steps in and takes over those duties. A conservator oversees the finances of the incapacitated person. There are mandatory reports and court filings to make sure that the person being cared for (the ward) does not suffer exploitation at the hands of an unscrupulous guardian or conservator.