Why your estate plan is more than just a “Simple Will”
So, you’re thinking about doing a Will? Good for you! Many people ignore their impending doom and their lack of planning can result in a train-wreck of an estate for their family. But, there’s more to estate planning than just a Will. What happens if you become incapacitated?
Imagine this: you are walking your dog, Michael, and the police drone that the cops were using (to monitor what your fellow citizens were doing in the privacy of their homes in the name of justice and safety) malfunctions and comes crashing down into your skull thereby leaving you in a coma, despite Michael’s vehement objections.
Now your coma-caretakers need access to your bank account. They need access to your medical records. Major medical decisions need to be made on your behalf. You need to liquidate assets to pay for stuff.
You need someone to look after Michael and your toddler, Michael2, whom I just invented. You are asleep, and there is no one who can immediately step into your shoes because you didn’t set anything up.
Don’t let your brain turn into chicken noodle soup. You’re better than that. There are documents that can enable a trusted love one to step into your shoes in a variety of different capacities and get done what needs to be done in the event you can’t because of incapacity. These documents are called Advance Directives and they are important.
Advance Directives are a group of documents that enable you to appoint someone else to get information from the hospital and insurance company, to make medical decisions and end of life decisions, and they even allow you to pre-designate guardians if necessary. Furthermore, a Durable Power of Attorney allows someone else to act on your behalf financially and take care of your affairs while you incapacitated.
A Will only works after you’re dead. The most important stuff happens while you’re alive, but incapacitated. Remember Terri Schiavo? You don’t want that to happen to your family.
Get your Advance Directives and Durable Power of Attorney now so you can go back to being indestructible.
The story above may be tongue in cheek, but the advice is rock solid.
Managing Partner, Operations Manager/Sarasota
H. Daniel McKillop sues and defends lawsuits for individuals, families, and small business owners. He also advises small business owners in areas of real estate and contract formations.
Dan takes pride in helping people through financial difficulties, providing legal advocacy and support during tough times. He volunteers as a judge for Sarasota County Teen Court, and often co-counsels legal aid cases with Gulf Coast Legal Services.
Dan was an Air Force officer prior to attending law school at the University of Florida Levin College of Law. His duty assignments included deployments to Iraq, the Philippines, and various stints in east Asia.
Dan and Julia have two young sons, two dogs, four cows and four sheep.
Dan’s practice includes:
- Foreclosure defense
- Real estate litigation
- RESPA and TILA violations
- Probate litigation
- General civil lawsuits.