A LIVING WILL IS ACTUALLY A DURABLE POWER OF ATTORNEY FOR HEALTH CARE. Michigan does not recognize a Living Will, and thus, relying upon one in Michigan is a mistake. The purpose of the Living Will is three fold: You use the document to give direction on your end-of-life decisions. You choose the person you want to make medical decisions for you when you can't make the medical decision for yourself. You use the document as your HIPAA Release so that doctors and hospital staff can speak with the person making the decisions for you. Proper signing and witnessing of the document is crucial.
A SIMPLE WILL IS JUST THAT, SIMPLE. The simple Will identifies your spouse and your children. It contains language directing who should receive your property should you die. These individuals are the beneficiaries. The simple Will names the personal representative: the person you want to handle the business of giving your property to your beneficiaries. A Will requires probate. But don't worry, probating an estate is not that bad. Proper signing and witnessing of the Will is crucial..
DURABLE POWER OF ATTORNEY FOR FINANCE allows someone else to handle your business and financial affairs during your lifetime. You name the person to whom you want to be your power of attorney. The named person has the right to manage your finances, write checks on your behalf, manage your financial accounts, etc. This document is necessary with older individuals. The power of attorney for finances is only effective during your life. Proper signing and notarizing of the power of attorney for finances is necessary.
Complicated estate planning includes Wills involving minor children, Wills with a testamentary trust, Revocable Living Trust, Special Needs Trust, funding the Trust, and analyzing assets for beneficiary designations.
Many clients bring internet-created power of attorneys or living wills for me to review, asking if they are sufficient. The answer is "NO", for many reasons.
CALL THE ATTORNEYS AT ROSS LEGAL GROUP, P.C., IN WATERFORD TOWNSHIP, TODAY TO HAVE THE DOCUMENTS YOU NEED PREPARED BY AN ATTORNEY WHO KNOWS.