Robert Whitt assists in Estate Planning

What is Estate Planning?

Estate Planning deals with the preparation of Wills, Financial Powers of Attorney, Living Wills and Health Care Powers of Attorney.

  • It is important to make sure that Wills properly transfer assets as intended by the client. Wills are never recorded until after death. One of the most common errors made is an individual using a Will off the internet or a hand written Will. This may cause some provisions of your Will to conflict with others and often times requires court intervention to interpret the document. A Will can provide direction for your family and assist in the orderly transfer of assets at the time of your death.
  • A Financial Power of Attorney aka Durable Power of Attorney can be a vital document in the Estate Planning process. All Powers of Attorney are not created equally. If you are desirous of your loved ones and family using the Power of Attorney to try to protect your assets in the event that you ever were placed into a long term care facility, the document needs to have special provisions for gifting assets out of your name. Many Powers of Attorney, even those prepared by Attorneys, do not contain these provisions. This means you may have a valid Power of Attorney but you are not able to use it to protect assets if you need to be placed into a nursing home. Having an Attorney who deals in Elder Law prepare your Financial Power of Attorney is vital in your Estate Planning process.
  • Living Wills and Health Care Powers of Attorney go hand in hand. A Living Will is simply your desire that you do not want to be artificially kept alive in certain circumstances. This is your statement to the world of what you desire. The Health Care Power of Attorney allows you to name a Health Care Agent to make that decision and to authorize your Medical Providers to protect your wishes and to maintain your intent in your last sickness.
  • Trusts can be revocable or irrevocable. An Irrevocable Trust is used in Medicaid Planning as a document that is placed into effective five years from the time you may need to go to a nursing home. This document has been used on many occasion as a preplanning document to protect assets. However, if you do not have a preplan in effect, your Financial Power of Attorney can be used in crisis planning to try to protect as much as your assets as possible in the event you must be placed into a nursing home. Revocable Trusts on the other hand are usually designed to avoid the Probate process after your death for the assets that are placed into them.

Contact Robert Whitt to help with your Estate Planning. Robert C. Whitt is Charlotte attorney, servicing the areas of Mount Holly, Charlotte, Gastonia and Gaston, Mecklenburg, Lincoln Counties and surrounding communities.