Living Wills

Your Will is a legal document in which you give certain instructions to be carried out after your death. For example, you may direct the distribution of your assets (your money and property), and designate your choice of guardians for your children. It becomes irrevocable when you die.

Here are some things you can designate:

Your beneficiaries

You may name beneficiaries. This can be family members, friends, a spouse, domestic partner or charitable organizations, just to name a few. These beneficiaries will receive your assets according to the instructions in your Will. You may give specific gifts, such as jewelry or a certain sum of money, to certain beneficiaries. This can be a very important decision for any pets that survive you. You want to be sure that someone you trust will take care of your pets the way that you did, and that they have the money to do so. It’s time to have these conversations!

A Personal Representative (PR)

You may nominate a person or institution to collect and manage your assets, pay any debts, expenses and taxes that might be due, and then, with the Court’s approval, distribute your assets to your beneficiaries according to the instructions in your Will. Your PR serves a very important role and has significant responsibilities. It can be a time-consuming job. You should choose your PR carefully. Your PR is entitled to compensation for the services provided.

A Guardian for your minor children

You may nominate a person to be responsible for your child’s personal care if you and your child’s other parent die before your child turns 18. You may also name a guardian – who may or may not be the same person – to be responsible for managing any assets given to the child, until he or she is 18 years old or even older.

Durable Family Power Of Attorney

In this document, you appoint another individual (the attorney-in-fact) to make property management decisions on your behalf if you ever become unable to do so. During your lifetime, the attorney-in-fact would manage your assets and be required to act solely in your best interests.

Advance Healthcare Directive and Durable Power Of Attorney for Healthcare

These documents allow the person named as attorney-in-fact to make healthcare decisions for you when you can no longer make them for yourself. It may also contain your wishes concerning life-sustaining treatment, other healthcare issues, organ donation, burial instructions, and your funeral.