Now is the time to start planning for the inevitable. You need the following documents at the very minimum:
Custom Prepared Will
Financial Power of Attorney
Health Care Power of Attorney
Contact us today and get started on protecting your future.
You have gotten married and with that comes a whole new set of responsibilities that you and your spouse share. This includes greater concerns about your finances and making sure that you are set up to take good care of each other.
One area often overlooked by young married couples is the importance of having a Will and other advance care directives. Being married, surprisingly, does not automatically give spouses the legal right to make crucial medical and/or financial decisions for one another if one dies or is incapacitated. Without the above-mentioned important documents in place, you will NOT be able to protect your loved one at the worst possible time.
The common mistake that most young couples make is that they think they do not need a Will because if one spouse dies, all assets will automatically go to the surviving spouse. This is NOT always true.
What happens when the Wife dies before Husband and there aren’t any children? If the Wife dies first and then the Husband dies….ALL of the remaining assets would go to the Husband’s family only. You may have just unintentionally disinherited the Wife’s family by not having a Will stating your wishes.
What happens if you both die in a plane crash? Who will care for your children? Who will raise them properly? Who will make sure that the money you have left for them will be used for their care? Without a Will that designates a Guardian for your children, the Court could appoint a stranger to be their Guardian. This person is in control of your money for your children and will receive an annual fee from these funds for their services.
The other two very important documents for a newly married couple are the Financial Power of Attorney and Health Care Power of Attorney. Should you become incapacitated, your spouse will NOT be allowed to make important decisions for you without these in place. Contrary to popular belief, spouses are NOT allowed to sign each other’s names to legal documents, get health care information from doctors or manage each other’s personal finances.
Without a Health Care Power of Attorney, your spouse (nor anyone else) would be allowed to assist in making important health care decisions for you;
Likewise, without a Financial Power of Attorney, your spouse (nor anyone else) would be allowed to handle your financial affairs for you.
If your spouse becomes incapacitated without a Health Care Power of Attorney or a Financial Power of Attorney, a Guardianship Action can give you these capabilities. However, the ultimate consequence for this is that it is a very time consuming and costly process. This slow and extremely expensive process can be avoided by having Health Care and Financial Powers of Attorney in place. In some critical cases, you may not have the time (or money) to wait for a judge to create a Guardianship. So why take that chance?
Over the years, we have heard too many heartbreaking stories where these same scenarios have occurred. So many young couples think that preparing a Will and these other important documents is just too expensive. This is NOT true and that is why we are here to help you at a very reasonable price.
Contact our office today and one of our attorneys will meet with you to ensure that we are addressing your specific needs and wishes. We will be available by phone and e-mail to answer any questions, before and after your documents are executed.
It is the goal of our office to be here to take care of your NEW needs as Husband and Wife, whether you can see these NEW needs or not.
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*Attorney Timothy P. Crawford is a Nationally Board Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA). He has been Board Certified by the National Elder Law Foundation which has been approved as the Sole Certifying Organization for Elder Law Attorneys by the American Bar Association.
**Attorney Timothy P. Crawford was invited to join the Council of Advanced Practitioners (CAP) of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) in August of 2005.CAP is a small group of premier elder law attorneys all of whom are certified as elder law attorneys by the National Elder Law Foundation, have been members of NAELA for at least ten years, and are AV rated as being among the top attorneys in the nation by Martindale Hubbell, a service that provides an independent rating of the quality of attorneys.
Attorney Timothy P. Crawford has been selected as a Fellow of NAELA. Fellow is the highest honor bestowed by the Academy. Selection as a Fellow signifies that his peers recognize the lawyer as a model for others and as an exceptional lawyer and leader.
Attorney Timothy P. Crawford speaks at National and State Attorney Meetings.
Attorney Timothy P. Crawford has a superb rating of 10 out of 10 with A V V O.
A V V O has awarded to Attorney Timothy P. Crawford the A V V O Client's Choice Award. This information is designed to provide a general overview with regard to the subject matter covered and is not state specific. The authors, publisher and host are not providing legal, accounting, or specific advice to your situation.
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