West Helena Estate Planning

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In West Helena, estate planning refers to the procedure of deciding what should be done with one's assets after their death.

You will usually need to seek the help of a professional with legal and/or financial expertise when in the process of estate planning. Simple mistakes in an estate plan can cause significant problems, including legal and personal conflicts between your survivors.

Estate planning can have various positive effects on the planner during life, as well. These benefits are normally somewhat intangible, revolving around the peace of mind that comes with knowing that, after your death, you family will be taken care of and that they'll know what your last wishes are. Nonetheless, most people find this very valuable. To that end, you should come up with a power-of-attorney agreement. When you grant someone power of attorney, you have given them the power to make particular decisions on your behalf. You can grant them as much or as little authority as you want. Most individuals, however, give family members or life partners power of attorney with respect to medical care, so if they become incapacitated, their wishes will still be carried out.

If you want to maximize the odds that your wishes will be followed after your death, you should do everything you can to make them legally binding. While this is not always possible, a West Helena attorney will be able to make sure that, where it is permitted, it is done.

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Common Features of West Helena Estates

Will: A will is often the central component of an estate plan. It is a legal document which says what is to be done with a person's assets after they die. It normally involves giving money and property to the testator's close family members, friends, and sometimes charitable organizations.

Living Will: Living wills are also very critical for most people. Essentially, a living will tells everyone concerned (your next of kin, and your doctor) what type of medical care you want if you become incapacitated. It usually includes the circumstances under which a person wishes to be kept on life support, when they want to be taken off of life support, and, sometimes, instructions on when medical staff should and should not attempt resuscitation.

Power of Attorney: Power of attorney is the permission to make binding decisions for another person, when that person becomes unable to make or express their own decisions. You can grant power of attorney to anyone you want, but, for obvious reasons, you should only grant it to somebody you trust, and discuss your exact wishes with them, in case they actually have to make a decision for you.

Funeral Arrangements: You should make it very clear to the individuals handling your funeral what type of funeral you want, and what you want done with your body. You should not put these instructions in your will, because wills are commonly not read until days or weeks after the testator dies, by which point it may be too late to give their wishes on this subject effect.

Do I Need a West Helena Estates Lawyer?

A seasoned lawyer in West Helena can make the process of estate planning as simple as it possibly can be. He or she can help ensure that your wishes are given effect, and minimize the chances of disputes between your survivors.

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