For many, estate planning consists of preparing a last will and testament to help family or friends after death. These plans usually go over existing assets and how to properly dispose of them. In most cases the possibility of injury or illness that leads to permanent incapacitation or long term disability is never considered.
When beginning the process of estate planning it is important that plans are made for business matters to be handled if an individual becomes sick or is otherwise unable to handle their affairs. It is not unusual for someone to need their estate managed while they are still living and the preparation should be made during estate planning. One of the first things that should be acquired is a power of attorney.
In the state of Delaware individuals can obtain a durable power of attorney, which allows a specific individual to manage assets if you are living but unable to manage them. Planning for a power of attorney while making arrangements for the estate is usually convenient since estate planning is the time for deciding who among your friends and family are trustworthy enough to manage your affairs. The person should be someone that you can trust with all of your property and money.
The person who is chosen will have the authority to manage and/or transfer all of your assets. These assets can include cash in bank accounts, homes, and even vehicles. A durable power of attorney should also give the chosen individual the power to contact the IRS on your behalf and also create, or make changes to, trusts.
In addition to a durable power of attorney individuals starting the estate planning process in Delaware should obtain a durable power of attorney for health care. This power of attorney is limited to health care matters. A person who holds this power of attorney can make decisions regarding all medical treatment on your behalf if you are unable to. This includes refusing medical treatment.
Even after establishing powers of attorney and preparing a will an individual involved in estate planning might want to consider obtaining a revocable living trust. These trusts can be used in Delaware in all situations that involve assets with titles or deeds. Using a revocable living trust will help avoid dealing with probate making it possible to appoint heirs for property that involves titles without going to a probate lawyer.
Whether obtaining a power of attorney or establishing a revocable living trust communication is extremely important. Anyone chosen to act in on your behalf should be aware of your medical and financial background. In order to always act in your best interest these people must always remain current on your health, financial decisions, and personal beliefs.