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No two families have the same property the same needs or the same personalities. Yet many people take a cookie-cutter approach to estate planning: downloading a form from the Internet and inserting the names of their family members. This can lead to consequences you never intended. For example, few people would want their children to receive their entire
inheritance at age 18 if they should die.
Few people would want their family members to have to go through a costly court proceeding just to pay their bills if they become incapacitated.
Unfortunately, things like this can happen when people take a cookie cutter approach to estate planning. An estate plan includes several legal documents to accomplish different goals.
A will is a legal document by which a person expresses their wishes as to how their property is to be distributed at death. It also names who will be the personal representative of your estate. That person is to manage the estate until its final distribution
A General Power of attorney names someone to handle financial matters if you are incapacitated. A Power of Attorney for Health Care names someone to make health care decisions if you are incapacitated.
Different types of trusts may be used to accomplish specific goals, such as protecting assets for minor children or providing assets to a person with special needs without making him or her ineligible for government benefits such
as Medicaid. Protecting assets from liability claims.
An Advanced Health Care Directive is your final statement about the extent of health care you wish to receive when you can no longer communicate to your health care providers.
To discuss your estate plan with me, lawyer Fred H. Valdez, call 907-274- 5000 to schedule a consultation. From my office in Anchorage, I serve clients throughout Alaska, including the coastal communities, the North Slope, the panhandle and the interior.
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