NEW HAMPSHIRE ESTATE PLANNING LAWYER
NH Estate Planning – Estate planning is a personal journey and a legal one that is needed by everyone. Regardless of your age or the amount of assets you have acquired, you should not put off estate planning any longer. Establishing an estate plan ensures your well being, protects assets and provides for your loved ones. A well designed estate plan will make sure you and your family are taken care of according to your wishes. Our NH estate planning lawyers will guide you through the process.
NH Estate Planning Lawyers
The Douglas, Leonard & Garvey estate planning attorneys handle all necessary estate planning documents, including:
NH Estate Plan Documents
There are a few essential documents that should be included in any estate plan. Those include a Will, a Trust, a Health Care Proxy, and a Durable Power of Attorney. Without these documents in place, your wishes are unenforceable, even if you have clearly communicated those wishes with your family. The courts will decide what becomes of your assets, minor children, funds, and even your health care options. Without your estate planning bases covered, your estate could be tied up in probate for years and the likelihood of family disputes is greatly increased. You have the right and responsibility to take advantage of the protections proper estate planning will grant you and your family.
A Will spells out who you want to receive assets and funds. It also designates guardians for any minor children. A Will should be done at any age, not just when you are of a certain age. However, once you do have a Will drafted, it is important to have it updated as life circumstances necessitate. Some of those circumstances may include divorce, birth of children, death of a beneficiary, or remarriage and step children becoming part of a family. Newly acquired assets should also be added to an existing Will.
A Trust is an important document that allows the Grantor (the person who creates the Trust) to put property in the Trust for the benefit of another. The Beneficiaries (people who benefit from the Trust) will receive the designated property upon the Grantor’s death. A Trustee is the person who oversees the Trust and the administration of the Trust. Putting your home in a Trust for example, is a great way to give your loved ones the property immediately, without them having to wait possibly years and spend hundreds if not thousands probating the estate before they can take title.
Health Care Proxy
A health care proxy gives someone the authority to decide the course of your medical treatment if you become incapacitated in some way. This may be temporary, such as being in a coma. The document outlines what treatments you want and what you don’t want for yourself. Just as with a Will, it isn’t enough for a family member to come forward and say what your wishes are. That can be disputed and put your wishes in jeopardy. The health care proxy is also for the protection of your family as an accident can lead to emotional turmoil and family disputes. With a proxy in place, your family is spared from infighting or having to make important decisions under duress.
Durable Power of Attorney
A durable power of attorney designates a trusted party to handle financial matters when you can’t do so yourself. This person can pay bills, deal with taxes, and handle investments and other financial matters. Even if you are hospitalized and unable to handle financial decisions and obligations even for a short time period, missing payments or not handling banking needs can wreak havoc on finances.
You and your family are unique and so are the estate plan documents needed to protect you and your family. If you haven’t taken any estate planning steps yet, now is the time to sit down and discuss what estate planning documents are best for you to give the peace of mind you deserve. Our estate planning lawyers will help protect you, your assets and your family. Please contact our NH estate planning lawyers at Douglas, Leonard & Garvey at 1-800-240-1988 or fill out our online contact form for a free evaluation by our New Hampshire estate planning attorneys.