Lacy Katzen attorneys and support professionals remind you that we are here to help!  We remain committed to providing uninterrupted excellent client service during the Covid-19 crisis as we continue to do our part in protecting the health and well-being of our co-workers, family members and our community.  Read More
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COVID-19 AND IMPORTANT HEALTH CARE DECISIONS

In today’s reality of living with the fear of Covid-19 and social distancing, how can you ensure that your affairs are taken care of if you get sick, and who will make health care decisions for you if you can’t express them?

To address these problems, there are two documents that everyone should have regardless of their age:

  • A Power of Attorney is a legal document in which you give legal authority to another individual to act on your behalf.  That individual can handle certain financial, property, and other transactions, such as paying your bills, signing contracts, dealing with health insurance claims, etc.
  • A Health Care Proxy is a legal document in which you name an agent to make health care decisions in the event you become incapacitated and cannot make those decisions.  The agent’s authority can only commence when a determination is made by the attending physician that you lack capacity to make health care decisions.  This document may express the treatments you want under certain situations.

If the worst happens and you die, how can you ensure that your loved ones are provided for and receive the assets that you worked hard to obtain?  Consider:

  • How will your assets be distributed if you die without a Will?
  • If you have a Will, when was the last time you reviewed it? 5, 10, 15 years or longer?  Are your assets being distributed as you wish?
  • Do you have young children (under age 18)?  If you die, who will be appointed by the court to care for your children?  Would you want them to receive their inheritance outright or should it be held in trust for their benefit, with a trustee deciding on how or when the inheritance should be used?
  • Do you have a child that is a spendthrift or cannot handle large sums of money?  Would you prefer that any assets left to them transfer into a trust for their benefit for their lifetime or until they reach a certain age?
  • Do you have a disabled child receiving government benefits?  Would receiving an inheritance disqualify them for those benefits?  How can you leave them an inheritance and not disqualify them for government benefits?
  • If you are in a second marriage, how can you ensure that your children will inherit your assets and at the same time provide for your surviving spouse?

These issues, and many more, can be resolved by having the proper estate planning documents, such as a Will or Trust.  The attorneys at Lacy Katzen are ready to help. Please contact us at 585-454-5650.

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